Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones enjoyed one of the most successful theatrical collaborations of Renaissance England with their spectacular court masques. But their relationship soured over a dispute as to what was most important in the masque: the poetry of the former or the set and costume design of the latter. This book attempts to resolve the debate using a theoretical term developed by Victor Turner: liminality, a condition or status between two conditions or statuses. Dr. Gregory Wilson argues that the masque is in a perpetual state of liminality, existing in the margin between performance and an observing audience. The masque is more than historically interesting; it negotiates the space between possibility and reality. This book searches for that intervening ground and the resolution of the "problem in the middle."
"Samuel Johnson Among the Modernists" casts Johnson as a figure of modernity, one who possesses an appeal that many Modernist writers found irresistible.