Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama

Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama

by Farah Karim-Cooper
Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama

Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama

by Farah Karim-Cooper

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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Revised and updated critical survey of the field of cosmetics and adornment studies
This revised edition examines how the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries dramatise the Renaissance preoccupation with cosmetics. Farah Karim-Cooper explores the then-contentious issue of female beauty and identifies a 'culture of cosmetics', which finds its visual identity on the early modern stage. She also examines cosmetic recipes and anti-cosmetic literature focusing on their relationship to drama in its representations of gender, race, politics and beauty.
Key Features

Offers a new analysis of the construction of whiteness as a racial signifierProvides an original insight into women’s cosmetic practice through an exploration of ingredients, methods and materials used to create cosmetics and the perception of make up in Shakespeare’s timeIncludes numerous cosmetic recipes from the early modern period found in printed books and never published in a modern edition

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474452724
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 04/03/2019
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Farah Karim-Cooper is the Head of Higher Education & Research at Shakespeare’s Globe and Visiting Research Fellow of King’s College London, where she co-convenes the MA in Shakespeare Studies. She is Chair of the Globe Architecture Research Group which oversaw the design and construction of the Globe’s indoor Jacobean theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. She was the 2013 Lloyd Davis Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland, and recently the Director of the Globe’s international Shakespeare and Race Festival. She has published two monographs, Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama (EUP, 2006) and The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage: Gesture, Touch and the Spectacle of Dismemberment (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2016). In addition to publishing numerous articles and essays, she has either edited or co-edited 4 essay collections and is general editor of numerous book series. Karim-Cooper served on the British Library’s Shakespeare exhibition advisory board; the theatre advisory board for the New Oxford Shakespeare (2016), and as a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

1. Defining Beauty in Renaissance Culture

2. Early Modern Cosmetic Culture

3. Cosmetic Restoration in Jacobean Tragedy

4: John Webster and the Culture of Cosmetics

5. Jonson’s Cosmetic Ritual

6. Cosmetics and Poetics in Shakespearean Comedy

7. ‘Deceived with ornament’: Shakespeare’s Venice

8. ‘Flattering Unction’: Cosmetics in Hamlet




What People are Saying About This

Dympna Callaghan

A terrific and very well researched project.

Dympna Callaghan, Syracuse University

Tom Healy

Provides a fascinating perspective on how early modern culture dealt with the growth and transformation of cosmetics into an 'industry' and offers exciting insight into how cosmetic textual imagery might have been interpreted in stage performance.

Tom Healy, Birkbeck College, University of London

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