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This timely book challenges conventional critical wisdom about the work of Ben Jonson. Looking in particular at his Jacobean and Caroline plays, it explores his engagement with concepts of republicanism. Julie Sanders investigates notions of community in Jonson's stage worlds--his "theatrical republics"--and reveals a Jonson to contrast with the traditional image of the writer as conservative, absolutist, misogynist, and essentially "anti-theatrical." The Jonson presented here is a positive celebrant of the social and political possibilities of theatre.