Elizabeth Cary's Tragedy of Mariam, the first original drama written in English by a woman, has been a touchstone for feminist scholarship in the period for several decades and is now one of the most anthologized works by a Renaissance woman writer. Her History of … Edward II has provided fertile ground for questions about authorship and historical form. The essays included in this volume highlight the many evolving debates about Cary's works, from their complicated generic characteristics, to the social and political contexts they reflect, to the ways in which Cary's writing enters into dialogue with texts by male writers of her time. In its critical introduction, the volume offers a thorough analysis of where Cary criticism has been and where it might venture in the future.
Contents: Introduction; Selected bibliography; Part I The Life and/in the Work: Elizabeth Cary and The Tragedie of Mariam, Elaine Beilin; Resurrecting the author: Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, Donald W. Foster; The reproduction of mothering in Mariam, Queen of Jewry: a defense of 'biographical' criticism, Meredith Skura; A family affair: the life and letters of Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland, Heather Wolfe. Part II The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry: Genre: Valuing Mariam: genre study and feminist analysis, Nancy A. Gutierrez; Theaters, households, and a 'kind of history' in Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedy of Mariam, Rosemary Kegl; 'Profane stoical paradoxes': The Tragedie of Mariam and Sidneian closet drama, Marta Straznicky. Social and Political Contexts: Re-reading Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedie of Mariam, Faire Queene of Jewry, Dympna Callaghan; Reading, work and Catholic women's biographies, Frances E. Dolan; Allegories of imperial subjection: literacy as equivocation in Elizabeth Cary’s Tragedy of Mariam, Margaret W. Ferguson; Backbiters, flatterers, and monarchs: domestic politics in The Tragedy of Mariam, Heather E. Ostman; 'Counterfeit colour': making up race in Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedy of Mariam, Kimberly Woosley Poitevin; The Tragedy of Mariam: Cary's critique of the terms founding social discourses, Laurie J. Shannon. Part III The History of the Life, Reign and Death of Edward II: Reform or rebellion? The limits of female authority in Elizabeth Cary's The History of the life, Reign and Death of Edward II, Gwynne Kennedy; Gender and property: Elizabeth Cary and the History of Edward II, Karen Raber; Elizabeth Cary and Edward II: what do women want to write, Meredith Skura; Shaping a drama out of a history: Elizabeth Cary and the story of Edward II, Janet Wright Starner and Susan M. Fitzmaurice. Part IV Cary in Comparison: 'Ears prejudicate' in Mariam and The Duchess of Malfi, Reina Green; Insurgent flesh: epistemology and violence in Othello and Maria