Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Thomas Heywood was as prolific in other forms of writing as he was in the drama. Very little of his other work, however, has any particular literary merit. The long poem Troia Britannica (1609) was based on material that Heywood had earlier put into dramatic form, but the poetry is generally considered to be poor, Heywood having never shown a particular flair for verse. An Apology for Actors (1612), on the other hand, is an excellent critical work that defends the Jacobean stage on didactic grounds. Because Heywood so often used women as the protagonists of his plays, his Gunaikeion: Or, Nine Books of Various History Concerning Women, Inscribed by the Nine Muses (1624) is of interest to the modern reader because it suggests even further the degree to which Heywood was interested in the nature of women and their sufferings. None of these works, however, can lay claim to the merit of Heywood’s best plays, and they have received little critical attention.