Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2018
In the prologue to Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, Machiavelli appears on stage to announce his arrival in England after a sojourn through the Continent:
Albeit the world thinke Machevill is dead,
Yet was his soule but flowne beyond the Alpes,
And now the Guize is dead, is come from France
To view this Land and frolicke with his friends. (Prologue, 1-4)
The impact of Machiavelli on sixteenth-century Europe was profound, and as this passage implies, his reception in England was complicated by an involved process of transmission. Reactions to his works mixed with demonic portrayals of him that had percolated through European political communities.