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Teaching British Women Playwrights of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

Editor(s): Bonnie Nelson, Catherine Burroughs

Pages: x & 470 pp.
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781603290838 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603290821 (cloth)

"This book will be an extremely useful guide to instructors trying to bring these plays and this period into their teaching, and even their research."
John O’Brien, University of Virginia

The considerable contributions of British women playwrights of the Restoration and eighteenth century, long unavailable, have now inspired numerous anthologies, editions, and modern-day productions. As these works continue to gain recognition and secure a more prominent place in college curriculums, teachers face the challenge of introducing these rediscovered works to students and explaining how they fit into the period’s dramatic tradition. This volume aims to help instructors present a clearer sense of this body of work in the undergraduate and graduate classroom.

The volume opens with background essays on the history of women in theater, including the first appearance of actresses on the stage, the earliest professional women playwrights, and their relationships with critics, audiences, and the theater manager David Garrick. Contributors then focus on individual playwrights, from Aphra Behn and Mary Pix to Hannah Cowley and Elizabeth Inchbald, and explore these women’s political, protofeminist, critical, and moralist agendas. Discussions of Frances Burney and Eliza Haywood, authors of both novels and plays, raise the question of genre. Comparative approaches offer ways of pairing plays in the classroom, following themes such as masquerade and cross-dressing through the works of female dramatists and those of their male counterparts. Other essays present methods for using these writers and their works in British literature and history courses, surveys of drama and theater history, and introductions to women’s literature.

Cami D. Agan
Emily Hodgson Anderson
Misty G. Anderson
Betsy Bolton
Nancy Copeland
Thomas C. Crochunis
Pilar Cuder-Domínguez
Patricia Demers
Jones DeRitter
Michelle Ruggaber Dougherty
Melinda C. Finberg
Tassie Gwilliam
George E. Haggerty
Catherine Ingrassia
Roxanne Kent-Drury
Elizabeth Kubek
Kathleen Leicht
Anna Lott
Ellen MacKay
Jean I. Marsden
Marie E. McAllister
Jane Milling
Victoria Myers
Nora Nachumi
Daniel O’Quinn
Anita Pacheco
Vimala C. Pasupathi
Jacqueline Pearson
Marjean D. Purinton
Cythnia Richards
Betty Rizzo
Laura J. Rosenthal
Francesca Saggini
Gillian Skinner

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