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Marta Straznicky offers a detailed historical analysis of the relationship between early modern women's closet plays and the culture of reading. Straznicky reveals that these works, by Elizabeth Cary and Margaret Cavendish, among others, were part of an alternative dramatic tradition, an elite and private literary culture that was intellectually superior to, and politically more radical than, commercial drama.Read more
- This study is the first to examine in detail the practices of reading plays in the early modern period, setting out new methodologies for the study of these undervalued texts in their time
- Includes a critical and historical analysis of the prefatory material to published plays, showing how female playwrights presented themselves and their work to their readers
- Investigates the links between the typographic and scribal design of published and manuscript plays
Reviews & endorsements
"This book continues and adds greatly to the reevaluation of women dramatists' place in the early modern period. Highly recommended."
-ChoiceSee more reviews
"The sophisticated argument of Marta Straznicky's Privacy, Playreading, and Women's Closet Drama, 1550-1700 rings various thought-provoking changes on the relationship of public and private as 'shifting rather than fixed points of reference' (p. 1)."
-SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
"Straznicky successfully shows that female closet drama is important literarily, socially, and politically, and that it is not a weak imitation of performed drama."
Carol Blessing, Renaissance Quarterly
"Marta Straznicky's book is an essential read for anyone interested in the period 1550-1700, but particularly in women's history and its relationship to the act of writing. The research is impressive and the writing style eloquent, persuasive and accessible, as we are taken on a fascinating journey into the sensitivities surrounding women and writing in the period..."
-Simon Barker, University of Gloucestershire, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research
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- Date Published: January 2005
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521841245
- length: 196 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.46kg
- contains: 7 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Privacy, play reading and performance
2. Jane Lumley: humanist translation and the culture of play reading
3. Elizabeth Cary: 'private' drama and print
4. Margaret Cavendish: the closing of the theatres and the politics of play reading
5. Anne Finch: authorship, privacy and the Restoration stage
Conclusion: 'Closet' drama: Private space, private stage, and gender
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