1st Edition

The Routledge Anthology of British Women Playwrights, 1777-1843

ISBN 9781138494954
Published July 2, 2019 by Routledge
544 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The Routledge Anthology of British Women Playwrights, 1777-1843 brings together ten eclectic plays by female dramatists and writers, to stimulate a rich discussion of women, writing, and theatre history. Ranging through tragedy, comedy, musical theatre and mixed-genre texts, this volume celebrates the breadth and experimental spirit of women's eighteenth- and nineteenth-century dramatic writing.

Each play is accompanied by an introductory essay that addresses its sociopolitical and theatrical contexts, and outlines its performance and reception history. The selections included here invite teachers and their students to study particular works by authors of note, but also to consider the differences between works written for page and stage. While many of the plays are recognizable as published dramas, they have been placed alongside textual artifacts that suggest plays or theatrical events of which no definitive record exists, as well as supplementary materials that invite teachers to engage their students in exploring women's dramatic writing in this era.

Organized in chronological order, The Routledge Anthology of British Women Playwrights, 1777-1843 traces a history of women's writing across genres and styles, offering an invaluable resource to students and teachers alike.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


General Editors’ Introduction


  1. Hannah More, Percy (1777) (ed. Michael Eberle-Sinatra, University of Montreal)
    1. Hannah More, from Essays on Various Subjects
    2. Hannah More, from The Private Correspondence of David Garrick
    3. Review: The Gentleman’s Magazine
    4. Review: St. James Chronicle

    Newspaper Poetry on More's Percy

    Morning Chronicle, letters on More’s sources

    Hannah Cowley, Preface to Albina

  2. Amelia Opie, Adelaide (c.1790) (ed. David Chandler, Kyoto University)
    1. Cecilia Lucy Brightwell, from Memorials of the Life of Amelia Opie
    2. William Taylor, from Historic Survey of German Poetry

  3. Hannah Brand, Huniades; or, The Siege of Belgrade (1791) (ed. David Chandler, Kyoto University)
    1. Hannah Brand, Introduction to Huniades from Plays and Poems
    2. Review: The British Critic
    3. Review: The Monthly Review

  4. Hannah Cowley, A Day in Turkey; or, The Russian Slaves (1791) (ed. Betsy Bolton, Swarthmore College)
    1. Preface to A Day in Turkey, from The Works of Mrs. Cowley
    2. Review: New Lady’s Magazine
    3. Review: Anti-Jacobin Review

    Hannah Cowley, "An Address" from A School for Greybeards

    Hannah Cowley, Preface to The Town Before You

    Edmund Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France

    Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    Review: Literary Magazine and British Review

    Review: Lady’s Magazine

    From Memoirs of Mrs. Crouch

  5. Frances Burney, Edwy and Elgiva (1795) (ed. Peter Sabor, McGill University)
    1. Madame D’Arblay and Dr. Burney, from Diary and Letters of Madame D’Arblay
    2. David Hume, from The History of England

    Frances Burney, from Evelina

    Review: The Pocket Magazine

    Hester Lynch Piozzi, from Thraliana

  6. Elizabeth Inchbald, Wives as They Were and Maids as They Are (1797) (ed. Daniel O'Quinn, University of Guelph)
    1. Review: British Critic
    2. Elizabeth Inchbald, Remarks from The British Theatre
    3. Elizabeth Inchbald, from The Artist

    George Colman, the Younger, and Elizabeth Inchbald, from The British Theatre

    Review: New Universal Magazine

    Leigh Hunt, from A Book for a Corner

  7. Joanna Baillie, The Election (1802) (ed. Thomas C. Crochunis, Shippensburg University)
    1. Review: Francis Jeffrey, from Edinburgh Review

    Joanna Baillie, Selected Letters

    Joanna Baillie, from "To the Reader" for A Series of Plays, volume II

    Joanna Baillie, from "To the Reader" for A Series of Plays, volume III

    Review: British Critic

    Henry Crabb Robinson, from Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence Hester Lynch Piozzi, Letter to Sir James Fellowes

  8. "An Evening with Jane Scott" (1809-12) (eds. Jackie Bratton, University of London/Royal Holloway, and Gilli Bush-Bailey, University of London/ Royal Central School of Speech & Drama)
    1. The Courier Notice
    2. Theatrical Inquisitor Notices 1813-16

    Listing of Digital Resources

  9. Mary Russell Mitford, Rienzi (1828) (ed. Elisa Beshero-Bondar, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg)
    1. Review: London Evening Standard
    2. Review: Berkshire Chronicle

    Mary Russell Mitford, Introduction to The Dramatic Works

    Mary Russell Mitford, Letter to Barbara Holland

    Review: Morning Chronicle

    Notice: Ladies Monthly Museum

    "Philo-Dramaticus," from Blackwood’s Magazine

    Joanna Baillie, Letter to Margaret Holford Hodson

  10. Catherine Gore, Quid Pro Quo; or, The Day of the Dupes (1843) (ed. Kate Newey, University of Exeter)
    1. Review: George Henry Lewes, from Westminster Review

Douglas Jerrold, Testimony from the Select Committee on Dramatic Literature

Gilbert á Beckett (in imitation of Douglas Jerrold), "Humbugs of the Hour" from Scenes from the Rejected Comedies

Notices: The Scotsman and Morning Chronicle

Suggested Reading


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Thomas C. Crochunis is Associate Professor of English at Shippensburg University, USA. He is cofounder of the online project "British Women Playwrights around 1800" and edited the collection Joanna Baillie, Romantic Dramatist: Critical Essays (2004). He has published work on gothic drama, women playwrights and theatre managers, the teaching of women’s playwriting history, and digital humanities scholarship.

Michael E. Sinatra is Professor of English at the Université de Montréal, Canada. Sinatra is the founding director of the DH Center CRIHN, an associated fellow of the Canada Research Chair in Digital Textualities, the co-director of Nines, and the co-general editor of the series Parcours numériques. He co-edited (with Tim Fulford) The Regency Revisited (2016) in which he also published his essay, "‘Senators and actors’: Leigh Hunt’s Theatrical Criticism and the Regency."