T.S. Eliot called him "the singular poet with the delightful name." Cyril Tourneur's name is one of the few things known about the Elizabethan dramatist. In an era of prolific playwriting, he produced only two plays that have survived, The Atheist's Tragedy and The Revenger's Tragedy, and even the dates of his birth and death are blanks. He attained no great popularity among his contemporaries. The sole allusion to Tourneur in an old chronicle sums him up this way:
His fame unto that pitch so only
As not to be despised nor too much
'This is an apt criticism of his play The...