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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys Jonson’s impact on the nineteenth century, tracing out his substantial influence on poets, novelists and theatre professionals on the page and on the stage. In 1990, D. H. Craig wrote: ‘Jonson’s work, for the nineteenth century, was bafflingly inconsistent.’ This chapter, looking in detail at the way in which writers such as Charles Dickens, Walter Scott, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope interacted with and learned from Jonson, argues that his work did offer a consistent point of departure for important trends in nineteenth-century writing. By examining such specific encounters, and the work done by William Poel in reviving Jonson’s plays for the professional theatre at the end of the century, this chapter continues to reshape our sense both of the power and persistence of Jonson’s literary influence in the centuries after his death.

Keywords: Ben Jonson, reception, performance, influence, annotation, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Water Scott, William Poel

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