Convent of Pleasure and Other Plays

ISBN-10: 0801861004

ISBN-13: 9780801861000

Edition: 1999

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Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673), until recently remembered more as a flamboyant eccentric than as a serious writer, was in fact the most prolific, thought-provoking, and original woman writer of the Restoration. Cavendish is the author of many poems, short stories, biographies, memoirs, letters, philosophical and scientific works (including The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World, the first work of science fiction by a woman), and nineteen plays. "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays collects four of Cavendish's dramatic works that are among the most revealing of her attitudes toward marriage and her desire for fame. Loves Adventures (1662) centers on a woman succeeding in war and diplomacy by passing as a man. Similarly, the heroine of Bell in Campo (1662) rescues her husband at the head of an army of women in this tale of a marriage of near equals. The Convent of Pleasure (1668) proposes a separatist community of women and has received attention for its suggestion of lesbian sexuality. The Bridals (1662), a more typical restoration comedy satirizing marriage, rounds out the collection. Edited with notes and annotation by Anne Shaver, "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays also contains a timeline, biography and bibliography of the Duchess, an appreciation of Cavendish's life and work, and a bibliography of critical essays. Also included are all of Cavendish's epistles To the Reader as well as Other Preliminary Matter from Playes (1662), and Cavendish's original preface to Plays Never Before Printed (1668). A valuable collection from an extraordinary writer, "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays raises important issues about women and gender.
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Book details

Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 4/27/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Note on Editorial Method
Introduction: Margaret Cavendish's Life as a Writer
Loves Adventures. Play
The Second Part of Loves Adventures
The First Part of Bell in Campo
The Second Part of Bell in Campo
The Bridals. A Comedy
The Convent of Pleasure. A Comedy
Dedicatory Poems and Author's Epistles Preceding the Texts in Playes, 1662
An Introduction, 1662
Epistle Appended to Playes, 1662
Author's Epistle Preceding Plays Never Before Printed, 1668
Selected Bibliography
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