Textual intercourses of women playwrights with their audiences at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

2020
book section
article
dc.abstract.en"I … feel encompassed with chains when I write, which check me in my happiest flights, and force me continually to reflect, not, whether this is just? but, whether this is safe?” (vii), confessed Hannah Cowley in the preface to her 1786 comedy, A School for Greybeards. The chains of literary propriety, she explained further, constrained the free movement of a woman playwright’s creativity far more narrowly than it was experienced by male playwrights or novelists of either sex. Despite these difficulties, Cowley was one of the most successful dramatists of the end of the 18th century, and yet, when she drew the curtains on the stage in 1795 with her last play The Town Before You, it was again on a very bitter note. The audience, she complained preferred the slapstick “tumble from a chair” (xi), to “genius or intellect” (x) of a carefully crafted dialogue. “From a Stage, in such a state, it is time to withdraw” (x), she concluded in the preface to The Town. At the same time, by the very act of presenting these arguments to the readers of her plays, Cowley seems to suggest that they, in contrast to mere playgoers, constituted a more discerning audience: that they could be confided in and relied on to judge the play’s true merit. The play on page, then, rather than on stage, was to do justice to the playwright’s talent. When Cowley was quitting the dramatic arena with her last comedy, another woman writer, Joanna Baillie, was preparing to enter it, also with an extended prefatory discourse aimed at the reading public. Interestingly, while Cowley only published her plays after they had been performed, Baillie, by publishing The Plays on Passions in 1798 reversed the order of the first encounter between the audience, author, and plays. Textual intercourse in their case, she must have judged, would do better to precede the embodiment of actual performance. The paper explores the complex reasons for and effects of these and other diverse strategies women playwrights employed to reach their ends of public recognition and commercial success at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and views each as a means of negotiating the position of the playwright and her works within the malleable body of literary hierarchy. Thus, the paper aims to shed light on the brewing climate in which later Romantic writers engaged with the drama on both page and stage.pl
dc.affiliationWydział Filologiczny : Instytut Filologii Angielskiejpl
dc.contributor.authorPaluchowska-Messing, Anna - 213164 pl
dc.contributor.editorCoghen, Monika - 127601 pl
dc.contributor.editorPaluchowska-Messing, Anna - 213164 pl
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-12T14:53:11Z
dc.date.available2021-04-12T14:53:11Z
dc.date.issued2020pl
dc.description.additionalBibliogr. s. 274-275. Recenzowane materiały z międzynarodowej konferencji naukowej: Romantic Interactions, Kraków, 4-5 kwietnia 2019.pl
dc.description.physical253-275pl
dc.description.publication1,3pl
dc.identifier.eisbn978-83-233-7164-9pl
dc.identifier.isbn978-83-233-4920-4pl
dc.identifier.projectROD UJ / Opl
dc.identifier.urihttps://ruj.uj.edu.pl/xmlui/handle/item/268910
dc.languageengpl
dc.language.containerengpl
dc.participationPaluchowska-Messing, Anna: 100%; Paluchowska-Messing, Anna: 100%;pl
dc.pbn.affiliationDziedzina nauk humanistycznych : literaturoznawstwopl
dc.pubinfoKraków : Jagiellonian University Presspl
dc.publisher.ministerialUniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowiepl
dc.rightsDodaję tylko opis bibliograficzny*
dc.rights.licencebez licencji
dc.rights.uri*
dc.sourceinfoliczba autorów 21; liczba stron 350; liczba arkuszy wydawniczych 21,5;pl
dc.subject.enwomen playwrightspl
dc.subject.enprefacespl
dc.subject.eneighteenth-century dramapl
dc.subject.enauthorial self-representationpl
dc.subtypeArticlepl
dc.titleTextual intercourses of women playwrights with their audiences at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuriespl
dc.title.containerRomantic dialogues and afterlivespl
dc.typeBookSectionpl
dspace.entity.typePublication
dc.abstract.enpl
"I … feel encompassed with chains when I write, which check me in my happiest flights, and force me continually to reflect, not, whether this is just? but, whether this is safe?” (vii), confessed Hannah Cowley in the preface to her 1786 comedy, A School for Greybeards. The chains of literary propriety, she explained further, constrained the free movement of a woman playwright’s creativity far more narrowly than it was experienced by male playwrights or novelists of either sex. Despite these difficulties, Cowley was one of the most successful dramatists of the end of the 18th century, and yet, when she drew the curtains on the stage in 1795 with her last play The Town Before You, it was again on a very bitter note. The audience, she complained preferred the slapstick “tumble from a chair” (xi), to “genius or intellect” (x) of a carefully crafted dialogue. “From a Stage, in such a state, it is time to withdraw” (x), she concluded in the preface to The Town. At the same time, by the very act of presenting these arguments to the readers of her plays, Cowley seems to suggest that they, in contrast to mere playgoers, constituted a more discerning audience: that they could be confided in and relied on to judge the play’s true merit. The play on page, then, rather than on stage, was to do justice to the playwright’s talent. When Cowley was quitting the dramatic arena with her last comedy, another woman writer, Joanna Baillie, was preparing to enter it, also with an extended prefatory discourse aimed at the reading public. Interestingly, while Cowley only published her plays after they had been performed, Baillie, by publishing The Plays on Passions in 1798 reversed the order of the first encounter between the audience, author, and plays. Textual intercourse in their case, she must have judged, would do better to precede the embodiment of actual performance. The paper explores the complex reasons for and effects of these and other diverse strategies women playwrights employed to reach their ends of public recognition and commercial success at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and views each as a means of negotiating the position of the playwright and her works within the malleable body of literary hierarchy. Thus, the paper aims to shed light on the brewing climate in which later Romantic writers engaged with the drama on both page and stage.
dc.affiliationpl
Wydział Filologiczny : Instytut Filologii Angielskiej
dc.contributor.authorpl
Paluchowska-Messing, Anna - 213164
dc.contributor.editorpl
Coghen, Monika - 127601
dc.contributor.editorpl
Paluchowska-Messing, Anna - 213164
dc.date.accessioned
2021-04-12T14:53:11Z
dc.date.available
2021-04-12T14:53:11Z
dc.date.issuedpl
2020
dc.description.additionalpl
Bibliogr. s. 274-275. Recenzowane materiały z międzynarodowej konferencji naukowej: Romantic Interactions, Kraków, 4-5 kwietnia 2019.
dc.description.physicalpl
253-275
dc.description.publicationpl
1,3
dc.identifier.eisbnpl
978-83-233-7164-9
dc.identifier.isbnpl
978-83-233-4920-4
dc.identifier.projectpl
ROD UJ / O
dc.identifier.uri
https://ruj.uj.edu.pl/xmlui/handle/item/268910
dc.languagepl
eng
dc.language.containerpl
eng
dc.participationpl
Paluchowska-Messing, Anna: 100%; Paluchowska-Messing, Anna: 100%;
dc.pbn.affiliationpl
Dziedzina nauk humanistycznych : literaturoznawstwo
dc.pubinfopl
Kraków : Jagiellonian University Press
dc.publisher.ministerialpl
Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie
dc.rights*
Dodaję tylko opis bibliograficzny
dc.rights.licence
bez licencji
dc.rights.uri*
dc.sourceinfopl
liczba autorów 21; liczba stron 350; liczba arkuszy wydawniczych 21,5;
dc.subject.enpl
women playwrights
dc.subject.enpl
prefaces
dc.subject.enpl
eighteenth-century drama
dc.subject.enpl
authorial self-representation
dc.subtypepl
Article
dc.titlepl
Textual intercourses of women playwrights with their audiences at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
dc.title.containerpl
Romantic dialogues and afterlives
dc.typepl
BookSection
dspace.entity.type
Publication
Affiliations

* The migration of download and view statistics prior to the date of April 8, 2024 is in progress.

Views
4
Views per month
Views per city
Wroclaw
2
Dublin
1
Skawina
1

No access

No Thumbnail Available