The Alchemist has been described as 'the greatest farce in the English language'. In this edition, first published in 1995, Ben Jonson's rich play offers intriguing insights into London life of the early seventeenth century. He satirizes and celebrates the confusions and anarchy of a fast-moving city world populated by a fascinating array of diverse and devious characters. Cambridge Literature is a series of study texts which presents writing in the English-speaking world from the sixteenth century up to the present day. The student will find in each volume a helpful introduction and resource notes encouraging active and imaginative study.