Thomas Heywood (1574?-1641), a professional English actor and one of the most prolific playwrights of the seventeenth century, is most famous for his plays written about contemporary English life. The Fair Maid of the West recalls typical Elizabethan bourgeois literature, but its primary relationship is with all adventure narratives regardless of their era. This romantic comedy features vivid pictures of English seaport life and travel to exotic locales by English sea captains. The plot is filled with pirate battles, a shipwreck, courageous adventures, and devoted love. If boredom is the perennial disability of men, adventure stories are the perennial therapy, operating as a restorative by encouraging an intermission in the ordinary powers and interests of the mind.