Female Dramatists of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Women were poorly represented in English literary culture for most of its history up until the modern era, but in no area were they less seen and heard than the theater. Even during the Golden Age of English drama in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when audiences were enthralled by the works of William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and dozens of new male playwrights, female dramatists had almost no voice. In those years, a few women (Joanna Lumley, for example) translated dramas by men, and several, including Elizabeth Cary and Mary Wroth, wrote original plays. However, since none of their works were ever publicly performed, the representation of women on the English stage was filtered through the experience and...Read more
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