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Description - Women, Nationalism, and the Romantic Stage by Betsy Bolton

In the 1780s and 90s, theatre critics described the stage as a state in political tumult, while politicians invoked theatre as a model for politics both good and bad. In this study, Betsy Bolton examines the ways Romantic women performers and playwrights used theatrical conventions to intervene in politics. Reading the public performances of Emma Hamilton and Mary Robinson through the conventions of dramatic romance, Bolton suggests that the romance of national identity developed by writers such as Southey and Wordsworth took shape in complex opposition to these unruly women. Setting the conventions of farce against those of sentiment, playwrights such as Hannah Cowley and Elizabeth Inchbald questioned imperial relations while criticizing contemporary gender relations. This well illustrated study draws on canonical poetry and personal memoirs, popular drama and parliamentary debates, political caricatures and theatrical reviews to extend current understandings of Romantic theatre, the public sphere, and Romantic gender relations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521771160
ISBN-10: 0521771161
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 290
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 19-Apr-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Betsy Bolton

Betsy Bolton is Associate Professor of English at Swarthmore College.