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Joyce Green MacDonald discusses the links between women's racial, sexual, and civic identities in early modern texts. She examines the scarcity of African women in English plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the racial identity of the women in the drama and also that of the women who watched and sometimes wrote the plays. The coverage also includes texts from the late fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, by, among others, Shakespeare, Jonson, Davenant, the Countess of Pembroke and Aphra Behn.Read more
- Offers a view of how ideas about and representations of women's races appear differently during different periods
- Discusses both Renaissance and Restoration, and eighteenth-century plays
- Two of the plays discussed, Behn's Abdelazer and Phillips' Pompey, have not been the subject of much critical analysis when this book was published in 2002
Reviews & endorsements
"This elegant, innovative book fulfills and extends the promise of early modern race studies of the past decade." Renaissance QuarterlySee more reviews
"Her discussion of early women writers ... contributes valuably to other recent work that is providing a much-needed correction to a field that has sometimes devoted too much energy to establishing a female literary tradition and ignored the differences." Seventeenth-Century News
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- Date Published: June 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521153379
- length: 200 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.3kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: women, race, and Renaissance texts
1. Cleopatra: whiteness and knowledge
2. Sex, race, and empire in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
3. Dido and Sophonisba of Carthage: marriage, race, and the bonds between men
4. The disappearing African woman: Imoinda in Oroonoko after Behn
5. Race, women, and the sentimental in Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko
6. Chaste lines: writing and unwriting race in Katherine Phillips' Pompey
7. The Queen's minion: sexual difference, racial difference, and Aphra Behn's Abdelazer
Conclusion: 'the efficacy of imagination'
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