The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster

The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster - click to see full size image

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The Duchess of Malfi is a Jacobean tragedy written by John Webster in 1612-1613. The play is set in Italy and revolves around the Duchess, a young widow who defies her powerful brothers by secretly marrying her steward, Antonio. This marriage goes against her brothers' desires to control her inheritance and maintain their family's reputation. As the story unfolds, the Duchess's brothers employ various schemes to uncover her secret, leading to a series of tragic events including betrayal, murder, and revenge. The play explores themes of power, corruption, deception, and the consequences of defying societal norms. The play, which premiered at Blackfriars Theatre, is loosely based on events that occurred between 1508 and 1513 surrounding Giovanna d'Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi, whose father, Enrico d'Aragona, Marquis of Gerace, was an illegitimate son of Ferdinand I of Naples. As in the play, she secretly married Antonio Beccadelli di Bologna after the death of her first husband Alfonso I Piccolomini, Duke of Amalfi.

Part of the Harvard Classics set.

This book has 26,018 words, 127 pages in the PDF version, and was originally written in 1612-1613.

Production notes: This ebook of The Duchess of Malfi was published by Global Grey on the 8th March 2024. The artwork used for the cover is 'Portrait of Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan' by Bernardino de' Conti.

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