John Webster


Cambridge edition

The Works of John Webster: Vol. I, ed. David Gunby, David Carnegie, Antony Hammond, and Doreen DelVecchio (Cambridge, 1995); Vol. II, ed. David Gunby, David Carnegie, and MacDonald P. Jackson (Cambridge, 2003); Vol. III, ed. David Gunby, David Carnegie, and MacDonald P. Jackson (Cambridge, 2007)


The Complete Works of John Webster, ed. F. L. Lucas, 4 vols (London, 1927; reprinted 1966)


There are no known examples of Webster's handwriting, nor any contemporary manuscripts of his plays other than a few songs and extracts in early miscellanies. The one possible exception is the foul paper fragment of a tragedy about Lorenzino de' Medici, which was later adapted by James Shirley as The Traitor, a manuscript discovered in 1985 at Melbourne Abbey (ShJ 192). An interesting case has been made for Webster's authorship of this play, but it has not received general acceptance, and the jury is still out.

For the Webster canon otherwise, see Bentley, V, 1239-56.

For some documents relating to Webster's life, not given separate entries below, see Mary Edmond, ‘In Search of John Webster’, TLS (24 December 1976) pp. 1621-2; Mark Eccles's correspondence in TLS (21 January 1977), p. 71; Mary Edmond's reply, TLS (11 March 1977), p. 272; and Charles R. Forker, ‘Two Notes on John Webster and Anthony Munday: Unpublished Entries in the Records of the Merchant Taylors’, English Language Notes, 6 (September 1968), 26-34.

Peter Beal