The Collected Works of Jane Cavendish: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Collected Works of Jane Cavendish

1st Edition

Edited by Alexandra G. Bennett


208 pages

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Hardback: 9781409451297
pub: 2017-08-24
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315614823
pub: 2017-08-23
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The first scholarly edition of the complete works of Jane Cavendish, this volume presents as complete a collection as possible of works and historical documents pertaining to a particularly compelling figure from the English Civil War. These include two manuscript poem and play collections, family letters to and from Jane, dating from after the Civil War years, and important estate papers. Jane Cavendish and her nearest sister, Elizabeth Brackley, are the only known collaborative female dramatists of the early modern period, and the co-composers of the first extant stage comedy by women in English. Most of Jane's extant verse and dramatic works were composed when the fighting of the English Civil War was at its most intense. Her works are, therefore, particularly valuable to both literary and historical researchers of the period because they simultaneously play with established literary conventions and convey much first-hand information about the conditions of aristocratic life during and immediately after the seventeenth-century national meltdown. The introduction offers as comprehensive a biography of Jane Cavendish as possible, focusing primarily on Jane's childhood, education, and conduct during the Civil War, as well as her married life after the war years. Of particular interest among the documents that follow is an account-book including entries from Jane's teenage years as well as her early married life; it portrays vividly what a young lady of her status owned in terms of clothes and jewels, as well as what a newly married woman had to acquire upon setting up a new household.

Table of Contents


Prose, Poems, Plays, Letters

Appendix: Jane Cavendish’s Account-Book and Receipts

About the Editor

Alexandra G. Bennett is a scholar, actor, dramaturg, and playwright, who works with plays in multiple capacities for performance. She has edited Margaret Cavendish’s plays Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions for Broadview Press, and is the author of numerous articles on the Cavendish family. She currently teaches at Northern Illinois University.

About the Series

The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions

The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions
Designed to complement The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works, Contemporary Editions presents both modernized and old-spelling editions of texts not only by women but also for and about women. Contents of a volume can range from a single text to an anthology depending on the subject and the audience. Introductions to the editions are written with the general reader as well as the specialist in mind. They are designed to provide an introduction not only to the edited text itself but also to the larger historical discourses expressed through the text.

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