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GBB-chapter5 10/4/06 13:34 Page 135 5 Competition and criticism The Patent Company was in trouble. The big names of the Late Stuart stage were now to be found at Lincoln’s Inn Fields rather than at Drury Lane or Dorset Gardens and the London playgoing audience seemed more inclined to put their hands in their pockets for the rebels. Christopher Rich had managed to retain some senior players, notably comedian Joe Haynes. Several players had initially shown interest in joining the rebels but were persuaded to remain, including Susannah Verbruggen (formerly Mrs

in Treading the bawds
Editor: Susan Wiseman

In examining early modern women and the poem, this book explores how women use poetry, and how poems use women, in England and Scotland in the period 1550–1680. Several decades of critical writing on 'women's poetry', 'gender and poetry', and the representation of women, or gender, in poetry have produced a rich and complex critical and scholarly field. The book looks at the primary and secondary evidence concerning two key elements in the analysis of early modern women's writing, namely, women and the poem. It first explores the way women understood the poem in terms of the reception, influence and adaptation of past models and examples, working from the reception of classical texts. It focuses on the resources women writing poetry knew and encountered in chapters on classical inheritance, the religious sonnet sequence and the secular sonnet sequence. The book then examines the world of reading and readers, and looks at poems in terms of friendships, quarrels, competitions, coteries, networks and critical reception, both then and later. It also emphasises the tales that poems tell, and how those stories both register and shape the understanding of women and the poem in the world of potential readers. In examining women and the poem, the use of women as signifiers and bearers of meaning in poetry is as significant as women's literary production.

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Actresses and playwrights on the Late-Stuart stage

This book challenges the traditional boundaries that have separated the histories of the first actresses and the early female playwright, bringing the approaches of new histories and historiography to bear on old stories to make alternative connections between women working in the business of theatre. Drawing from feminist cultural materialist theories and historiographies, it analyses the collaboration between the actresses Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle and women playwrights such as Aphra Behn and Mary Pix, tracing a line of influence from the time of the first theatres royal to the rebellion that resulted in the creation of a players' co-operative. This is a story about public and private identity fuelling profit at the box office and gossip on the streets, investigating how women's on- and off-stage personae fed each other in the emerging commercial world of the business of theatre. Employing the narrative strategy of the micro-history, it offers a fresh approach to the history of women, seeing their neglected plays in the context of performance. Competition with the patent house resulted in a dirty tricks campaign that saw William Congreve supporting the female rebels or, as this book suggests, being supported by them. By combining detailed analysis of selected plays within the broader context of a playhouse managed by its leading actresses, the book challenges the received historical and literary canons, including a radical solution to the mysterious identity of the anonymous playwright ‘Ariadne’. It is a story of female collaboration and influence.

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

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Researching early modern women and the poem

and influence. Underpinning any particular assessment of women and the poem is an analysis of at least part of the society in which it existed. At present, the dominant understanding of a ‘long’ early modern period, say 1620–1760, is that poetry was at the centre of a process whereby a culture of social and then sentimental circulation gradually emerged. Such a narrative makes the Restoration a turning point at which, in the self-reflexive divisions of the social world, in tandem with the deliberate establishment of the aesthetic as a terrain of competition

in Early modern women and the poem

actresses did not swap types like Mary Betterton and Mary Lee. Although Barry played a wide spectrum GBB-chapter3 11/4/06 86 11:54 Page 86 Trea d i ng th e bawd s of roles from evil to good, Bracegirdle always played the innocent virgin, whether she was cast as Barry’s rival, friend or daughter.’26 The trope of female competition, particularly between actresses, leads Howe to speculate on the grounds upon which this formidable female theatrical partnership was built: ‘Personal friendship may have been one reason why such a balanced partnership existed between Barry

in Treading the bawds
Gothic imagery in Dutch feminist fiction

Dorrestein explores the feminist notion of sisterhood through both the autobiographical narrative about her sister’s suicide and the fictional story of Godelieve, revealing the ambivalences that constitute (second-wave) feminism. By using the Gothic, Dorrestein finds modes to express the unspeakable rivalry and competition between sisters – including sisters in the feminist sense. Perpetual Motion is a hybrid

in Gothic kinship
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Friendship and Literary Patronage

sufficiently the enigmatical qualities of tone adopted by Spenser and Ralegh in their written interactions with each other, especially in the material appended to the 1590 Faerie Queene. Some critics, however, find the tone and meaning of these dedicatory and commendatory texts relatively straightforward. Much of that critical commentary concerns supposed differences of opinion between Spenser and Ralegh about the kind and value of the poetry they write, though issues of competition and class-consciousness creep into these discussions of poetic value. According to Patrick

in Literary and visual Ralegh

tensions of competition between men quite the same in Heywood’s play. It is not only that Wendoll has no need to envy Frankford’s wealth because it is freely offered to him, it is also the case that social distinction is differently drawn here – not as the carefully delineated differences between artisan and gentleman, or the exact greed for an extra score of pounds, but as the broad division between penury and plenty, between the security of gentility and the vulnerability of want. The play opens with a prologue which makes apology for the

in Domestic life and domestic tragedy in early modern England
The writers, the artificers and the livery companies

Lord Mayor’s Show was a suitably splendid reflection of the status of the role it inaugurated. The celebration of the glory reflected on the Company by a mayoral incumbent was often informed by a competitive awareness of what the other Great Twelve were capable of doing, so competition between the Companies also played a part in their preparations. Archer notes that ‘companies tried to outbid each other in the sumptuousness of their display, and kept a jealous eye on the practice of the others’.5 When the Merchant Taylors heard that the Goldsmiths had purchased an

in Pageantry and power