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Look Inside Women on Stage in Stuart Drama

Women on Stage in Stuart Drama


  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521122757

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About the Authors
  • Women on Stage in Stuart Drama provides a 'prehistory' of the actress, filling an important gap in established accounts of how women came to perform in the Restoration theatre. Sophie Tomlinson uncovers and analyzes a revolution in theatrical discourse in response to the cultural innovations of two Stuart queens consort, Anna of Denmark and the French Henrietta Maria. Their appearances on stage in masques and pastoral drama engendered a new poetics of female performance, which registered acting as a powerful means of self-determination for women. The pressure of cultural change is inscribed in a plethora of dramatic texts that explore the imaginative possibilities inspired by female acting. These include plays by the key royalist women writers Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, and Katherine Philips. The material explored by Tomlinson illustrates a fresh vision of theatrical femininity and encompasses an unusually sympathetic interest in questions of female liberty and selfhood.

    • Provides a fascinating 'pre-history' of the Restoration actress
    • Rewrites the history of the stage from the perspective of its female participants
    • Sheds light on the work of key women writers Margaret Cavendish and Katherine Philips
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Sophie Tomlinson enriches the field of women's theatre history with this fascinating study of the 'prehistory' of the actress. A light-hearted reference to the refrain 'sisters are doin' it for themselves' introduces a serious work of revisionist history that uncovers the layers of female influence and action at the early Stuart courts.' Journal of New Theatre Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521122757
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: shifting sisters
    1. 'Magic in majesty': the poetics of female performance in the Jacobean masque
    2. 'Naked hearts': feminising the Stuart pastoral stage
    3. 'Significant liberty': the actress in Caroline comedy
    4. Sirens of doom and defiance in Caroline tragedy
    Interchapter: 'Enter Ianthe, Veiled'
    5. The fancy-stage of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle
    6. Styles of female greatness: Katherine Philips's translations of Corneille

  • Author

    Sophie Tomlinson, University of Auckland

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