Women Writers: Restoration and 18th Century
Ballaster, Ros, Seductive Forms: Women’s Amatory Fiction from 1684–1740, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992,; New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, Landry, Donna, The Muses of Resistance: Laboring-Class Women’s Poetry in Britain 1739–1796, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990 Myers, Sylvia Harcstark, The Bluestocking Circle: Friendship and the Life of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century England, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990; New York: Oxford University Press, 1990 Pearson, Jacqueline, The Prostituted Muse: Images of Women and Women Dramatists 1642–1737, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1988; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1988 Spencer, Jane, The Rise of the Woman Novelist: From Aphra Behn to Jane Austen, Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1986 Todd, Janet, The Sign of Angellica: Women, Writing and Fiction, 1660–1800, London: Virago Press, 1989; New York: Columbia University Press, 1989 PEARSON’s survey is a solid introduction to the study of women dramatists in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The first part of the book discusses the literary context in which women wrote and explores the role that women played in the theatrical world, not only as writers, but also as actresses, managers, and members of the audience. She is arguing against the view that women had to write like men to succeed in the period, and instead concentrates on a “female tradition” by locating similarities in dramatic themes, images of women, sexual politics, marriage, education, chastity, and virtue in plays by women. These themes are compared with contemporaneous plays by male dramatists, and between women writing in the Restoration period and those writing in the early eighteenth century. The second part of the book concentrates more specifically on individual dramatists, such as Aphra Behn, Susanna Centlivre, Mary Pix, Catherine Trotter and Delarivier Manley, as well as “minor” dramatists such as Eliza Haywood and Mary...
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