Readings in Renaissance Women's Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance, 1594-1998

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Readings in Renaissance Women's Drama is the most complete sourcebook for the study of this growing area of inquiry. It brings together, for the first time, a collection of the key critical commentaries and historical essays - both classic and contemporary - on Renaissance women's drama. Specifically designed to provide a comprehensive overview for students, teachers and scholars, this collection combines:

• this century's key critical essays on drama by early modern women by early critics such as Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot

• specially-commissioned new essays by some of today's important feminist critics

• a preface and introduction explaining this selection and contexts of the materials

• a bibliography of secondary sources Playwrights covered include Joanna Lumley, Elizabeth Cary, Mary Sidney, Mary Wroth and the Cavendish sisters.

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Editorial Reviews

Reprinted and new essays address a variety of cultural and literary interests relating to women's drama in England from the late 16th to the mid-17th centuries. Passages in Part I represent the way in which the critical history of the Renaissance woman dramatist has developed, and pieces in Part II focus on the social context from which Renaissance women dramatists arose. Essays in Part III look at specific women dramatists from the Early Modern period, following a chronological line from Elizabeth I to Margaret Cavendish. Designed primarily for readers approaching this field for the first time. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415164429
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 1550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Early commentaries 7
1 Mary Sidney is Praised to Elizabeth I 1594 10
2 Samuel Daniel to Mary Sidney 1594 10
3 John Davies of Hereford Commends Mary Sidney and Elizabeth Cary 1612 13
4 William Sheares to Elizabeth Cary 1633 14
5 Jonson and Wroth 1640 15
6 Elizabeth Cary's Biography 1643-9 16
7 Celebrating Several Ladies 1752 16
8 The Cavalier's Lady and her Plays 1872 17
9 The First Scholarly Edition of Mary Sidney's Antonie 1897 18
10 Lumley's Play First Published 1909 18
11 The First Modern Edition of Mariam 1914 19
12 Early Critical Recognition of Elizabeth Cary and Margaret Cavendish 1920 20
13 Woolf on Margaret Cavendish 1925 21
14 T. S. Eliot on Senecan Drama 1927 21
15 Virginia Woolf on 'Judith Shakespeare' 1929 23
16 The First Edition of The Concealed Fancies 1931 24
17 Cary and 'A Woman's Duty' 1940 26
18 Mary Sidney: Philip's Sister 1957 27
Pt. II Contexts and issues 29
1 Women playwrights in England: Renaissance noblewomen 32
2 The Arts at the English Court of Anna of Denmark 47
3 'My seeled chamber and dark parlour room': the English country house and Renaissance women dramatists 60
4 Women as patrons of English Renaissance drama 69
5 Women as spectators, spectacles, and paying customers 81
6 Women as theatrical investors: three shareholders and the second Fortune Playhouse 87
7 'Why may not a lady write a good play?': plays by Early Modern women reassessed as performance texts 95
Pt. III Early Modern women dramatists 109
1 'We princes, I tell you, are set on stages': Elizabeth I and dramatic self-representation 113
2 Joanna Lumley 1537?-1576/77 125
3 Jane Lumley's Iphigenia at Aulis: multum in parvo, or, less is more 129
4 'Patronesse of the Muses' 142
5 Mary Herbert: Englishing a purified Cleopatra 156
6 Elizabeth Cary 1585-1639 167
7 The spectre of resistance: The Tragedy of Mariam 1613 182
8 Resisting tyrants: Elizabeth Cary's tragedy 194
9 An unknown continent: Lady Mary Wroth's forgotten pastoral drama, 'Loves Victorie' 219
10 'Like one in a gay masque': the Sidney cousins in the theaters of court and country 234
11 'To be your daughter in your pen': the social functions of literature in the writings of Lady Elizabeth Brackley and Lady Jane Cavendish 246
12 'She gave you the civility of the house': household performance in The Concealed Fancies 259
13 'My brain the stage': Margaret Cavendish and the fantasy of female performance 272
14 'A woman write a play!': Jonsonian strategies and the dramatic writings of Margaret Cavendish; or, did the duchess feel the anxiety of influence? 293
Notes on contributors 306
Bibliography of secondary sources 310
Index 315
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