The Mayor of Queenborough or Hengist, King of Kent
Part of the Globe Quartos series, co-published with Shakespeare's Globe marking their rediscoveries of forgotten plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries. Middleton's only surviving historical play weaves together two powerful stories: the spectacular rise and fall of the bloody-minded king Vortiger, and the legend of Hengist and Horsa. Set in fifth century Britain struggling against the power of Rome, the play chronicles Vortiger's despotic career; his ruthless murders, the violent betrayal of his British wife, the brutal wars against his own subjects, and an opportunistic but ultimately catastrophic alliance with the newly-arrived Saxons. The play also provides a striking comic subplot, involving Simon the tanner – the eponymous Mayor of Queensborough.