First English Actresses Women and Drama, 1660-1700

ISBN-10: 0521422108
ISBN-13: 9780521422109
Edition: 1992
Authors: Elizabeth Howe
List price: $45.99 Buy it from $16.74
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Description: Before the Restoration of Charles II there were no professional actresses on the English stage, and female roles had almost always been played by men. This book describes how and why women were permitted to act on the public stage after 1660, and  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 6/4/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 244
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Before the Restoration of Charles II there were no professional actresses on the English stage, and female roles had almost always been played by men. This book describes how and why women were permitted to act on the public stage after 1660, and the consequences of their arrival. Elizabeth Howe opens up a fascinating subject to nonspecialists. Beginning with a general account of the workings of Restoration theater, she explains the treatment received by the actresses and how their sexuality was exploited. The book addresses questions that are relevant to women's issues in every period: how far did the advent of women players alter dramatic portrayals of women? Did this encourage more or less equality between the sexes? Although in one sense merely playthings for a small male elite, the pioneering actresses also represent a new female voice in society and a new place in discourse.

List of illustrations
Preface
Note on styling, dates and editions used
Introduction: the Restoration theatre
The arrival of the actress
Sex and violence
The actress, the dramatist and comedy
Life overwhelming fiction
Elizabeth Barry and the development of Restoration tragedy
The actress as dramatic prostitute
The angel and the she-devil
Conclusion: the achievement of the first English actresses
Major actresses and their roles in new plays
Plays in which Barry and Bracegirdle appeared together
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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