Mary Wroth and Shakespeare  book cover
1st Edition

Mary Wroth and Shakespeare

ISBN 9781138783034
Published November 7, 2014 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

Over the last twenty five years, scholarship on Early Modern women writers has produced editions and criticisms, both on various groups and individual authors. The work on Mary Wroth has been particularly impressive at integrating her poetry, prose and drama into the canon. This in turn has led to comparative studies that link Wroth to a number of male and female writers, including of course, William Shakespeare. At the same time no single volume has attempted a comprehensive comparative analysis. This book sets out to explore the ways in which Wroth negotiated the discourses that are embedded in the Shakespearean canon in order to develop an understanding of her oeuvre based, not on influence and imitation, but on difference, originality and innovation.

Table of Contents

Introduction Paul Salzman and Marion Wynne-Davies  Part 1: Poetry, Circulation, Influence  1. Sugared Sonnets among their Private Friends: Mary Wroth and William Shakespeare Ilona Bell  2. Escaping the Void: Isolation, Mutuality and Community in the Sonnets of Wroth and Shakespeare Clare R. Kinney  3. Autumn 1604 – documentation and literary coincidence Penny McCarthy  4. Mary Wroth and William Shakespeare: A Conversation in Sonnets Gayle Gaskill  Part 2: Genre and Gender  5. Absent Fathers: Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory and William Shakespeare’s King Lear Marion Wynne-Davies  6. Wroth's Love Victory as a Response to Shakespeare's Representation of Gender Distinctions: with Special Reference to Romeo and Juliet Akiko Kusunoki  7. Four Weddings, Two Funerals and Tragicomic Resurrection: Love's Victory and Much Ado About Nothing Alison Findlay  8. Civility and Extravagance in Timon of Athens and Urania Amelia Zurcher  Part 3: Querying Identity  9. Rosalind and Wroth: Tyranny and Domination Paul J. Hecht  10. Love’s Victory, Pastoral, Gender, and As You Like It Paul Salzman  11. As She Likes It: Same-Sex Friendship and Romantic Love in Wroth and Shakespeare Naomi J Miller  Afterword Mary Ellen Lamb

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Paul Salzman is a Professor of English literature at La Trobe University, Australia. He has published extensively on early modern women’s writing, including the monograph Reading Early Modern Women’s Writing (2006). He has recently completed an on-line edition of Mary Wroth’s poetry ( and is now working on an on-line edition of Love’s Victory and a book on literature and politics in the 1620s.

Marion Wynne-Davies holds the Chair of English Literature in the Department of English at the University of Surrey, UK. Her main areas of interest are Early Modern literature and women’s writing. She has published two editions of primary material, Renaissance Drama by Women: Texts and Documents (1995) and Women Poets of the Renaissance (1998), as well as several collections of essays in the same field. She has published four monographs, Women and Arthurian Literature (1996), Sidney to Milton (2002), Women Writers of the English Renaissance: Familial Discourse (2007) and Margaret Atwood (2010); the next book, Memorialising Early Modern Women Writers will be published in 2014.


"The groundbreaking comparative analysis in the essays of this collection will change the way in which we read both Wroth and Shakespeare." - Rosalind Smith, English at University of Newcastle, Australia

"The collection will serve as a useful teaching tool for an exploration of Wroth, who is now considered a canonical writer of the early modern period.  The essays (with one exception) cover Wroth's sonnet sequence, her play, and her prose romance, focusing on the ways her writing departs from that of Shakespeare, the best known writer of this period...With an afterword by Mary Ellen Lamb, who has done groundbreaking work in the field of early modern women writers, this small volume is a valuable resource...Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." - M. Cole, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, CHOICE

"Wroth and Shakespeare masterfully demonstrates the synergies between Wroth’s writings and Shakespeare’s. In so doing, it lays a valuable foundation for future research in the field, as well as for the development of new pedagogical approaches to these writers. Opening up vital questions about formal and generic structure, textual circulation, intertextuality, and the construction of gender and sexual identity, Wroth and Shakespeare pushes readers to see both Wroth and Shakespeare anew." - Katherine R. Larson, University of Toronto, Canada