Thomas Kyd



The Works of Thomas Kyd, ed. Frederick S. Boas (Oxford, 1901).


Arthur Freeman, Thomas Kyd: Facts and Problems (Oxford, 1967)

Wraight & Stern

A. D. Wraight and Virginia F. Stern, In Search of Christopher Marlowe (London, 1965)


Except for two copies of an answer by ‘T. K.’ (KyT 1-2), possibly but not certainly Kyd, to well-known verses by Chidiock Tichborne (TiC 2-46), there are no known manuscripts of any of Kyd's works. Not even his most celebrated play, The Spanish Tragedy, is to be found quoted in miscellanies.

Kyd's handwriting would seem to be preserved, however, in at least one of two letters which he is generally thought to have written in 1593 denouncing the atheism of Marlowe and defending himself against a similar charge (see KyT 3-4). The first of these in particular, written in a formal secretary hand, is a reminder that Kyd was son of a professional scrivener and therefore perhaps inherited some measure of his father's writing competence. The authorship of the second letter is less certain and has been debated, although it must be remembered that variation of handwriting style was also a common feature of scriveners. A third, somewhat incriminating document, in someone else's hand, but found among Kyd's papers, is also preserved (KyT 5).

Peter Beal