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John Webster (Playwright)
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    (circa 1578-circa 1634)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Jacobean dramatist
    Best-known plays were ‘The White Devil’ and ‘The Duchess of Malfi’
    Little is known about his life, including the years of his birth and death.
    He had to get a special license to wed Sara Peniall, as the bride was seven months pregnant (1606).
    When the debut performance of ‘The White Devil’ was a failure (1612), he blamed the audience for having the intellect of donkeys.
    His best-known plays are violent and macabre.
    Despite being best known for bloody revenge tragedies, he also wrote several comedies (usually with collaborators).
    His work grew in stature, with ‘The White Devil’ and ‘Malfi’ being staged more often in the 20th century than any plays by his contemporaries other than Shakespeare.
    The line ‘Cover her face, mine eyes dazzle: she died young’ from ‘Malfi’ is quoted in both Agatha Christie’s ‘Sleeping Murder’ and Anne Rice’s ‘Queen of the Damned.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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