Cavendish and Shakespeare, Interconnections explores the relationship between the plays of William Shakespeare and the writings of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673). Cavendish wrote 25 plays in the 1650s and 60s, making her one of the most prolific playwrights”man or woman”of the seventeenth century. The essays contained in this volume fit together as studies of various sorts of influence, both literary and historical, setting Cavendish's appropriation of Shakespearean characters and plot structures within the context of the English Civil Wars and the Fronde. The essays trace Shakespeare's influence on Cavendish, explore the political implications of Cavendish's contribution to Shakespeare's reputation, and investigate the politics of influence more generally. The collection covers topics ranging from Cavendish's strategic use of Shakespeare to establish her own reputation to her adaptation of Shakespeare's martial imagery, moral philosophy, and marriage plots, as well as the conventions of cross dressing on stage. Other topics include Shakespeare and Cavendish read aloud; Cavendish's formally hybrid appropriation of Shakespearean comedy and tragedy; her transformation of Shakespearean women on trial; and her re-imagining of Shakespearean models of sexuality and pleasure.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Cavendish and Shakespeare, interconnections, Katherine Romack and James Fitzmaurice; 'Thou art a moniment, without a tombe': affiliation and memorialization in Margaret Cavendish's Plays and Plays, Never before Printed, Shannon Miller; Shakespeare, Cavendish, and reading aloud in 17th-century England, James Fitzmaurice; Drama's Olio: a new way to serve old ingredients in The Religious and The Matrimonial Trouble, Erna Kelly; Dining at the table of sense: Shakespeare, Cavendish, and The Convent of Pleasure, Brandie R. Siegfried; Testifying in the court of public opinion: Margaret Cavendish reworks The Winter's Tale, Alex Bennett; Gender, the political subject, and dramatic authorship: Margaret Cavendish's Loves Adventures and the Shakespearean example, Mihoko Suzuki; Old playwrights, old soldiers, new martial subjects: the Cavendishes and the drama of soldiery, Vimala C. Pasupathi; Enlarging Margaret: Cavendish, Shakespeare, and French women warriors and writers, Amy Scott-Douglass; The Unnatural Tragedy and familial absolutisms, Karen Raber; 'I wonder she should be so infamous for a whore?: Cleopatra restored, Katherine Romack; Index.
Katherine Romack is Assistant Professor of English at the University of West Florida, USA. James Fitzmaurice is Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, USA., and Director of Distance Education for the School of English at the University of Sheffield, UK
’Cavendish and Shakespeare, Interconnections marks a milestone in Cavendish criticism by charting this prolific woman writer’s creative engagement with Shakespeare and revealing her early contributions to critical assessment of his work.’ Renaissance Quarterly ’The high quality of the essays gathered here, and their willingness to engage in informed speculation about Cavendish's meanings and practices [...] suggest that Cavendish studies are generating a good deal of intellectual energy.’ Review of English Studies