Thomas Middleton, one of the greatest of Jacobean dramatists, was born in 1580, the son
of a well-to-do London bricklayer. He went to Oxford but seems not to have gained a degree.
Thereafter he pursued the precarious career of a professional writerin London. In a quarter
of a century he wrote, either on his own or in collaboration, nearly fifty plays and other
theatrical pieces. His greatest contemporary success was A Game at Chess, which was
suppressed by the government. He died in 1627.