Cecilia Macheski is associate professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.
Listed in: Gender Studies · American Literature · British Literature · Theater - History and Criticism · Literary Criticism · Women’s Studies · Literary Studies
“I here and there o’heard a Coxcomb cry, Ah, rot—’tis a Woman’s Comedy.” Thus Aphra Behn ushers in a new era for women in the British Theatre (Sir Patient Fancy, 1678). In the hundred years that were to follow—and exactly those years that Curtain Calls examines—women truly took the theater world by storm.
Traditional literary theory holds that women writers of the Restoration and eighteenth century produced works of limited range and value: simple tales of domestic conflict, seduction, and romance. Bringing a broad range of methodologies (historical, textual, post-structuralist, psychological) to bear on the works of Eliza Haywood, Charlotte Smith, Sarah Fielding, Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, and others. Fetter'd or Free?