Three seventeenth-century plays on women and performance

Edited by Hero Chalmers, Julie Sanders and Sophie Tomlinson

Three seventeenth-century plays on women and performance

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6339-8
  • Pages: 348
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: November 2011
  • BIC Category: Plays, playscripts, LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama, DRAMA / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Literary companions, book reviews & guides, Literature & literary studies / Plays, playscripts, Early Modern Literature, Literature
  • Series: Revels Plays Companion Library


This is a ground-breaking edition of three seventeenth-century plays that all engage in diverse and exciting ways with questions of gender and performance. The collection, edited by three pioneering scholars of elite female culture and early modern drama, makes the texts of three much-discussed plays - John Fletcher's The Wild-Goose Chase, James Shirley's The Bird in a Cage and Margaret Cavendish's The Convent of Pleasure - available together in a full scholarly edition for the first time.

The Wild Goose Chase (1621) and The Bird in a Cage (1633) were both performed in the commercial London theatres in the Jacobean and Caroline periods respectively. The Convent of Pleasure (1668) is a so-called 'closet' drama, designed primarily for reading but drawing on a tradition of aristocratic theatricals. In a wide-ranging co-authored introduction to the volume, the editors explore the concerns of these playtexts in relation to contemporary debates surrounding popular festivity and anti-theatricalism, as well as the agency of elite female culture in the Stuart period and the emergence of the professional female actor in the Restoration.

The volume will be an invaluable teaching and research tool for students and scholars of early modern drama, women's writing and performance studies more generally, as well as providing a rich sourcebook for the reader interested in seventeenth-century theatrical culture.


General Editors' Preface
Abbreviations and references
The historical context
The plays
The texts
Stage histories
The plays
John Fletcher, The Wild-Goose Chase (ed. Sophie Tomlinson)
James Shirley, The Bird in a Cage (ed. Julie Sanders)
Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure (ed. Hero Chalmers)
A: Press variants
B: Commendatory verses to The Wild-Goose Chase (1652)


Hero Chalmers is a freelance academic|Julie Sanders is Professor of English Literature and Drama at the University of Nottingham|Sophie Tomlinson is Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland

Three seventeenth-century plays on women and performance

Edited by Hero Chalmers, Julie Sanders, Sophie Tomlinson

Paperback £15.99 / $23.95

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