The author considers the Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson a realist and an acute observer of the transformation from feudalism to capitalism. Many of the forms and purposes of Jonson's realism resulted from the social dynamics of the London theater audience. In this book, originally published in 1992, Haynes presents a detailed literary historical argument about the sources and consequences of Jonson's realism. He examines the entanglements of life and art in Jonson's time both through a look at the life of that period and through insightful readings of Jonson's plays. The book polemicizes against the moral and formal pre-occupations of the last two generations of Jonson criticism proceeding it; it is instead informed żeby the social history and żeby the sociology of Pierre Bordieu and Norbert Elias.