Women, Nationalism And The Romantic Stage: Theatre And Politics In Britain, 1780-1800

Betsy Bolton, Swarthmore College

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Abstract

In the 1780s and 90s, theater critics described the stage as a state in political tumult, while politicians invoked theater 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. 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 theater, the public sphere, and Romantic gender relations.