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Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Tracy C. Davis

Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth-Century Britain


Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Tracy C. Davis

Why does historical memory exclude nineteenth-century women playwrights when hundreds worked prolifically across the spectrum of professional theatre, amateur theatricals, and publishing? What might it mean to adjust the collective focus of cultural historians and literary critics so that these women can come into view? This collection of essays, written by a team of leading scholars in the field, undertakes not simply to recover the names and careers of women playwrights but to call into question the whole idea of what a playwright is, and what she does, and why it matters. Gender inquiry is the start: destabilising the category of playwrights loosens the borders of theatre history, making it possible to reconceptualize theatre and drama not as a product of culture but as social processes dynamically interacting with culture.


'This collection ... fulfils its promises to the reader, not only by contributing a substantial body of knowledge and criticism on the topic of the title but by raising many general theoretical issues that future scholars will ignore at their peril.'
Brett Ashley Crawford, Theatre Research International

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Book Info

Publication date

27th May 1999


Tracy C. Davis

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Cambridge University Press


312 pages


Literary studies: plays & playwrights
Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900



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