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From the Abbess of Barking to Aphra Behn, women manipulated dramatic venues and settings to re-negotiate their place in society. This study examines the playing spaces for early modern women's drama and how women played with space in scripts and performances. Using selected texts from 1376 to 1705, Findlay shows how their drama operated in five key sites: homes, gardens, courts, convents and cities. Aristocratic houses, country estates and city streets are theatrically reconfigured as homes, empty shells and arenas of possibility. Courtly venues reveal queens as adept producers in the royal theatres of power, while convents and academies are playing spaces to explore the possibilities of female company. This book sketches theatre histories on to what is often a blank space, investigating the rich inter-textuality of spatial practices to provide a richer understanding of how early women's drama works.
Alison Findlay is Professor of Renaissance Drama in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster.