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Women in British Romantic Theatre: Drama, Performance and Society, 1790-1840

by Catherine B. Burroughs


This is the first collection of essays to examine the extraordinary contribution of women playwrights, actors, translators, critics and managers who worked in British theatre during the romantic period. Focusing on women well-known during their day but neglected for some 150 years, the volume provides a crucial new perspective that revises historical narratives and reflects the rapidly changing terrain of scholarship in the complex field of romantic theatre and drama. Eleven specially-commissioned essays by a distinguished team of scholars explore the role of numerous theatrical women including the eminent actress Sarah Siddons and two of the period’s most prolific playwrights Elizabeth Inchbald and Joanna Baillie. The book strikes a balance between literary and theatrical approaches, showing how the period’s preoccupation with categories such as text and performance, closet drama and stage, provide a key to ‘uncloseting’ an important group of female theatre artists.    SAMPLE CHAPTER


Contents: Introduction: uncloseting women in British romantic theatre Catherine Burroughs; Part I. Historical Contexts: Revolution and Entrenchment: 1. Baillie, Siddons, Larpent: gender, power, and politics in the theatre of romanticism Jeffrey N. Cox; 2. Reviewing women in British Romantic Theatre Greg Kucich; Part II. Nations, Households, Dramaturgy: 3. Women and history on the romantic stage: More, Yearsley, Burney, and Mitford Katherine Newey; 4. English national identity in Mariana Starke’s The Sword of Peace: India, abolition, and the rights of women Jeanne Moskal; 5. Women’s sovereignty on trial: Joanna Baillie’s comedy The Tryal as metatheatrics Marjean D. Purinton; Part III. Performance and Closet Drama: 6. Outing Joanna Baillie Susan Bennett; 7. The management of laughter: Jane Scott’s Camilla the Amazon in 1998 Jackey Bratton and Gilli Bush-Bailey; Part IV. Criticism and Theory: 8. Elizabeth Inchbald: a woman critic in her theatrical culture Marvin Carlson; 9. Authorial performances in the criticism and theory of romantic women playwrights Thomas C. Crochunis; Part V. Translation, Adaptation, Revision: 10. Suicide and translation in the dramaturgy of Elizabeth Inchbald and Anne Plumptre Jane Moody; 11. Remaking love: remorse in the theatre of Baillie and Inchbald Julie Carlson.


2000    360 pp.
0521662249      Hardback        £37.50