The Actor's Book of Monologues for Women


A diverse collection of monologues featuring the voices of women through the ages 

Drawn from poetry, fiction, diaries, journals, and documents of public record, these selections, although not originally intended for theatrical or cinematic performances, offer unique dramatic opportunities for actors, speakers, students, or anyone interested in women?s studies.
            Stefan ...

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The Actor's Book of Monologues for Women

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A diverse collection of monologues featuring the voices of women through the ages 

Drawn from poetry, fiction, diaries, journals, and documents of public record, these selections, although not originally intended for theatrical or cinematic performances, offer unique dramatic opportunities for actors, speakers, students, or anyone interested in women’s studies.
            Stefan Rudnicki has brought together selections from well-known as well as obscure authors, providing a tremendous range of women’s perspectives from a variety of sources: poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, and Sappho, among others; passages from Mary Shelley’s journal, the diaries of Anais Nin, and the memoirs of Isadora Duncan; polemics from Mary Wollstonecraft and Joan of Arc, as well as Susan B. Anthony’s “On Woman’s Right to Suffrage”; and selections from the novels of Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Ursula K. LeGuin, and others.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140157871
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1991
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,424,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Stefan Rudnicki was born in Krakow, Poland, and lived in Stockholm, Sweden, and Montreal, Canada, before arriving in the United States—where he was educated principally at Columbia University and the Yale School of Drama.           

In addition to having directed number theatrical productions in New York, regional theatre, and abroad, he is also an actor, producer, award-winning playwright, photographer, and film and video director. His other books include The Actor’s Book of Classical Monologues and The Actor’s Book of Classical Scenes.

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Table of Contents

General Introduction


1. Mirrors to Nature
Introduction Linda Hogan—From Walking
Aphra Behn—From Oroonoko
Mary Botham Howitt—The Sea Fowler
Frances Moore Brooke—To the Chase, to the Chase!
Emily Pfeiffer—To a Moth that Drinketh of the Ripe October
Jane Welsh Carlyle—To a Swallow Building Under Our Eaves
Emily Dickinson—Dear March—Come in
Clarissa Scott Delany—Solace
Sarah Orne Jewett—From A White Heron
Soge Track—From The Clearing in the Valley

2. Commentaries and Character Studies
Introduction Anne Finch—The Atheist and the Acorn
Mrs. Leicester—The Mock Hero
Elizabeth Trefusis—The Boy and Butterfly
Carolyn Wells—To a Milkmaid
Phoebe Cary—When Lovely Women
Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon—The Woman Who Used Her Theory
Jane Austen—From Sanditon
Mrs. Johnson to Lady Susan
Tabith Gilman Tenney—From Female Quixotism
Mark Twain—From Eve's Diary
Fanny Fern (Sara Willis Parton)—Aunt Hetty on Matrimony
Frances Miriam Berry Whitcher—Hezekiah Bedott
Kate F. Ellis—A Sunday Morning Interview
On the Servant Girl Question
The Last Breakfast at the Mountains
Emily Post—Fad Followers
Smoking Don'ts
Eve Merriam—Tryst
Maura Stanton—From Nijinsky
Rhoda Lerman—From The Girl that He Marries
From God's Ear
Alice Kahn—The Brie Generation

3. Journeys in History
Introduction Fanny Burney—Pursued by the King
Lady Augusta Stanley—The Duke of Wellington's Funeral
Queen Victoria in Mourning
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu—Overlooking Constantinople
Ellen Terry—America
Elizabeth Barrett Browning—Italy
Susan Hale—To Miss Mary B. Dinsmoor
Sylvia Ashton-Warner—From I Passed This Way
Isadora Duncan—D'Annunzio
Fanny Kemble—From The Journal of Frances Anne Butler
Kate Ryan—From Old Boston Museum Days
Billie Burke—From With a Feather on My Nose
Umm Kulthum—From The Umm Kulthum Nobody Knows

4. Witnesses to War
Introduction Margaret Hill Morris—From her Diary
Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker—A Day of Great Confusion
The Blazing Fleet
Deborah Sampson Gannett—An Address Delivered at the Federal-Street Theatre, Boston
Margaret E. Breckenridge—From The Princeton Standard, 1862
Eliza Frances Andrews—From The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-65
Emma Adair—Fred Brown's Body
Mrs. John Harris—From Letters
Mrs. A. H. Hoge—From Ladies' Address at the Packer Institute, Brooklyn, Spring, 1865
Mrs. Belle Reynolds—From her Diary
May Sinclair—Field Ambulance in Retreat (Via Dolorosa, Via Sacra)
Anaïs Nin—The Grounded Aviator
Diana Barnato Walker—Holding the Line, Britain, 1939-1945
Ida Dobrzanska Kasprzak—Uprising, Poland, 1939-1945
Dellie Hahne—Forty Years Later
Lynn Bower—Twilight Zone, Vietnam, 1965-72
Nellie Bianchi—The Kidnappings
Daisy Zamora—Trapped in the Cross-Fire


5. Polemics
Introduction Queen Hatshepsut—Monument to Amun
Joan of Arc—Statements Queen Anne Boleyn—Defiled Is My Name Full Sore
Anne Askewe—Like as the Armed Knight
Queen Elizabeth I—Oh Fortune!
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu—Thoughts on Education
Elizabeth Barrett Browning—An Englishwoman's Education
Miss Wentworth—From Life's Lessons
Mary Wollstonecraft—From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Maria W. Stewart—From What If I Am a Woman?
Susan B. Anthony—On Woman's Right to Suffrage
Merle Woo—Whenever You're Cornered, the Only Way Out Is to Fight

6. Choices
Introduction Loi Yau—An Agreement to Assist a Young Girl
Jane Johnson—Affidavit and Testimony
Marjory Fleming—From Daily Diary, 1810
Susan Hale—School-Days
Kate Ryan—The Little Red Shoes
Helen Ward Brandreth—"I have determined to keep a journal..."
Mrs. Mary Robinson—A Propensity to Intoxication
Jane Welsh Carlyle—Letter to John Sterling
S.N. Hoisington—Wolves at the Door
Annette Lecleve Botkin—An Undependable Sort of Bird
Lavina Gates Chapman—Blow the Building Down
Martha Martin—The Sea Otter
Donna Redmond—I'm Proud to Be a Hillbilly
Roberta Victor—Hooker
Carolyn Nearmyer—Family Farmer
Jean Gump—Swords into Plowshares
Dr. Jane Hodgson—On Probation
Zahrah Muhammad—From My Life, An Extended Interview by Susan S. Davis
Carmen Prado—If We Stay Together They Can't Hurt Us

7. Friends, Lovers and Wives
Introduction Gareth Owen—Friends
Sei Shonagon—On Parting
Heloise—To Abelard
Aphra Behn—In Imitation of Horace
Elizabeth Tollet—Winter Song
Mirra Lokhvitskaya—Tsarina of the Underworld
Adelaide Anne Procter—A Woman's Question
Ellen Mary Patrick Downing—Were I but His Own Wife
Anonymous—Grief of a Girl's Heart
Anne Bradstreet—A Letter to Her Husband
Lynne Yamaguchi Fletcher—After Delivering Your Lunch
Rhoda Lerman—From Eleanor
Mary Shelley—My Beloved Shelley
Lady Catherine Dyer—Epitaph on the Monument of Sir William Dyer at Colmworth, 1641
Christina Rossetti—The First Day

8. Daughters, Sisters and Mothers
Introduction Emily Dickinson—Father Does Not Live with Us Now The Last Afternoon That My Father Lived
Anonymous—Oral Testimony of a Former Slave
Lucille Clifton—From Generations: A Memoir
Anna Lee Walters—From The Warriors
Marian Yee—Wintermelons
Karen Dale Wolman—From Telling Mom
Kate Douglas Wiggins and Nora Archibald Smith, Editors—From Pinafore Palace I had a little pony Six little mice sat down to spin Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea I'll tell you a story Solomon Grundy Three children sliding on the ice The man in the wilderness asked me If all the world were apple-pie I had a little nut tree If you sneeze on Monday When the wind is in the east Girls and boys, come out to play Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky
Christina Rossetti—Who Has Seen the Wind?
Abbie Farwell Brown—Learning to Play
Eliza Lee Follen—The New Moon
Dinah Maria Mulock Craik—Philip, My King
Mirra Lokhvitskaya—My Sky
Jane Cannary Hickok—From Calamity Jane's Letters to Her Daughter


9. Intimate Visions
Queen Elizabeth I—I Grieve and Dare Not Show My Discontent
Orinda (Katherine Fowler Philips)—Ode Against Pleasure
Christina Rossetti—Passing and Glassing Echo
Emily Brontë—Remembrance
From Wuthering Heights
Anna Kingsford—The Child on the Cliff The Laboratory Underground
Emily Dickinson—Going to Heaven!
There's Been a Death I Cannot Live with You

Nathaniel Hawthorne—From The Scarlet Letter
Charlotte Perkins Gilman—From The Yellow Wallpaper
Margaret Atwood—A Night in the Royal Ontario Museum
Gareth Owen—The Park
Pierre Louys—From Chansons de Bilitis iii. Maternal Advice vii. The Passer-by xxix. The Pan-pipe xci. Funeral Song xcii. Hymn to Astarte xciii. Hymn to the Night The Tomb of Bilitis: First Epitaph

10. Epics and Gothics
Introduction Sappho—The Homecoming of Hector and Andromache
Marie de France—From The Lay of Sir Launfal
Lady Charlotte Elliot—The Wife of Loki
Mrs. Darmesteter (A. Mary F. Robinson)—A Ballad of Orleans, 1429
Esperanza (Lady Wilde)—A Wicked Spell A Woman's Curse
Mary C. G. Byron—The Fairy Thrall The Tryst of the Night
Christina Rossetti—From Goblin Market
Nazik al-Mala'ikah—From The Viper
Ann Radcliffe—From The Romance of the Forest
From The Mysteries of Udolpho
Elizabeth Gaskell—From The Old Nurse's Story
Lanoe Falconer—Cecilia's Gospel
Mary E. Braddon—From The Cold Embrace
Charlotte Brontë—From Jane Eyre
Bram Stoker—Mina Murray's Journal
Robert W. Chambers—Mary Read
Fredric Brown—Too Far

11. Revelations and Transformations
Introduction Philo-Philippa—From To the Excellent Orinda
Anne Killigrew—On a Picture Painted by Her Self...
Phillis Wheatley—On Imagination
Alice Meynell—The Modern Poet: A Song of Derivations
Mary Shelley—From the 1831 introduction to Frankenstein
Elizabeth Melville—From Ane Godlie Dreame
Rebecca Cox Jackson—From Gifts of Power
Lidiya Zinovyeva-Annibal—From The Wolves
Anaïs Nin—From Diary, Volume 2
Dahlia Ravikovitch—Tirzah and the Wide World
Furugh Farrukhzad—Divine Rebellion
Patricia Geary—From Strange Toys
Haniel Long—From Malinche
Marion Zimmer Bradley—From The Mists of Avalon
Ursula K. LeGuin—From Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea
Zenna Henderson—From Pilgrimage
Rhoda Lerman—Dawn Is Far Away The Vestments He Wove A Spool of Golden Thread
Ruth Whitman—July 4, 1846, at Fort Laramie September 6, 1846, in the Desert March 15, 1847, by Alder Creek Where Is the West
Emily Dickinson—Go Thy Great Way!

Select Bibliography

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