Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Charles Cathcart

Dr Charles Cathcart

Profile summary

  • Honorary Associate
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Art His, Class St, Eng&CW, Mus
  • English & Creative Writing
  • c.b.cathcart

Professional biography

For a long time Charles enjoyed Renaissance plays as a general reader and theatre-goer. He feels a great debt to the modern editors of scholarly dramatic texts because it was through such editions that he first encountered many of the plays that he loves. He had the opportunity to study at doctoral level during the 1990s and his thesis reviewed the links between John Marston’s plays and those of other writers.

Amongst these ‘other writers’, Shakespeare was then most prominent, and it was not until later that the rivalries sometimes known as ‘The War of the Theatres’ became a focus of interest. Charles has suggested that certain plays – such as The Insatiate Countess and The Family of Love ‒ were implicated in the affair, and his arguments appeared in Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, and Jonson (2008). Because ‘The War of the Theatres’ was a topic at one time notorious for over-development by excitable literary scholars, this book reflects upon the decorum of academic debate as well as upon the plays and playwrights involved.

Charles continues to write about the drama of the period, and he is interested in questions of authorial agency, in literary borrowings and allusions, in the playing companies that flourished in the early Jacobean years, and in the verse satires that appeared a little earlier. Recently he has begun to explore the popular writings published by Leonard Becket from around 1609 to the early 1630s. They are packed with unattributed snippets of verse from published poets. Becket’s miscellanies and the other confections of his company are well worth scholarly attention.



Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, and Jonson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008)


Sir Giles Goosecap, Knight: George Chapman; Poetaster; and the Children of the Chapel’, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 25 (2012), 42-61

‘Guilpin and the Godly Satyre’, Review of English Studies, 62 (2011), 64-79

‘Romeo at the Rose in 1598’, Early Theatre, 13.2 (2010), 149-62

Old Plays and the General Reader: An Essay in Praise of the Regents Renaissance Drama Series’, Early Modern Literary Studies, 14.3 (2009)

‘John Marston, The Malcontent, and the King’s Men’, Review of English Studies, 57 (2006), 43-63

‘Authorship, Indebtedness, and the Children of the King’s Revels’, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 45.2 (Spring 2005), 357-74

‘Borrowings and the Authorial Domain: Gostanzo, Polonius, and Marston’s Gonzago’, Comparative Drama, 37:2 (2003), 159-74

The Insatiate Countess:  Date, Topicality, and Company Appropriation’, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 16 (2003), 81-100

‘John Fletcher in 1600-1601: Two Early Poems, an Involvement in the “Poets’ War,” and a Network of Literary Connections’, Philological Quarterly, 81:1 (2002), 33-51

Hamlet: Date and Early Afterlife’, Review of English Studies, 52 (2001), 341-59

Lust’s Dominion; or, The Lascivious Queen: Authorship, Date, and Revision’, Review of English Studies, 52 (2001), 360-75

‘Plural Authorship, Attribution, and the Children of the King’s Revels’, Renaissance Forum, 4:2 (2000)

‘“You will crown him King that slew your King”: Lust’s Dominion and Oliver Cromwell’, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 11 (1999), 264-74

Shorter articles and scholarly notes

‘“The Masque being Endid” and The Works of Mr John Marston’, Notes and Queries, 258 (2013), 538-42

‘John Davies of Hereford, Marston, and Hall’, Ben Jonson Journal, 17.2 (2010), 242-48

How a Man May Choose a Good Wife from a Bad and The Taming of the Shrew’, Notes and Queries, 254 (2009), 612–15

‘Lampatho’s “Delicious Sweet” in Marston’s What You Will’, Notes and Queries, 254 (2009), 610–12

Poetaster and the Prince of Love’, Ben Jonson Journal, 14.2 (2007), 206-17

‘Guilpin, Shakespeare, and “a Scourge of Wire”, Notes and Queries 252 (2007), 307-10

Club Law, The Family of Love, and the Familist Sect’, Notes and Queries, 248 (2003), 65-68

‘Lodge, Marston, and the Family of Love’, Notes and Queries, 248 (2003), 68-70

Histriomastix, Hamlet, and the “quintessence of Duckes”, Notes and Queries, 248 (2003), 327-30

‘John Weever and the Jonson–Marston Rivalry’, Ben Jonson Journal, 9 (2002), 235-47

Twelfth Night and John Weever’, Notes and Queries, 245 (2000), 79-81

‘Ben Jonson and the Dedication of Antonio and Mellida’, Notes and Queries, 245 (2000), 100-103

‘Marston, Montaigne, and Lady Politic Would-be’, English Language Notes, 36:1 (1999), 4-8

Other publication

‘“Passionate man in his slight play”: John Marston’s prologues and epilogues’, The Dutch Courtesan website (2013)

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome