Title

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

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

2001

Published In

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

Abstract

In the 1780s and 1790s, 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 Souther 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.--BOOK JACKET

Published By

Cambridge University Press

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