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date: 06 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on Middleton's use of Spain and Spanish literature as settings and source material. While this penchant may surprise readers who expect from Middleton the Hispanophobia of a good Protestant, it corresponds to the larger cultural ambivalence about Spain in the early 1620s. In the early 1620s, the protracted negotiations for a possible marriage between Prince Charles and the Spanish Infanta, the sister of Philip IV, produced a spate of anti-Hispanic pamphlets. The crisis around Charles's possible marriage to a Catholic princess underscores how sustained and enduring the fascination with Spain really was, in that it could transcend the potent upwelling of popular sentiment against the union. Middleton penned the most scandalous response to Charles's marital adventures, in the wildly successful A Game at Chess.

Keywords: Thomas Middleton, Spanish literature, Game at Chess, Prince Charles, plays

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