The Faithful Virgins (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series #104) (Paperback)

The Faithful Virgins (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series #104) By E. Polwhele, Ann Hollinshead Hurley (Editor) Cover Image

The Faithful Virgins (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series #104) (Paperback)

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The first-ever print edition of a play by one of the first women playwrights in England.

E. Polwhele (c. 1651-c. 1691) was one of the first women to write for the stage in Restoration London. This book presents the first printed edition of Polwhele’s first play, The Faithful Virgins, which until now has existed only in an unsigned manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. A tragicomedy apparently performed in London by the Duke's Company ca. 1669–1671, The Faithful Virgins is altogether different in tone from Polwhele's later, better-known prose comedy, The Frolicks; or, The Lawyer Cheated (1671). The introduction to this modern-spelling edition of The Faithful Virgins discusses the play in terms of radical changes in English stage practices following the restoration of the monarchy after England’s civil war and situates Polwhele’s play within the social and political life of seventeenth-century London.
 
E. Polwhele (c. 1651–c. 1691) was one of the first women to write for the stage in Restoration London. There is no documentary evidence that her first name was “Elizabeth,” but she is often referred to by that name. Ann Hollinshead Hurley is professor of English emerita at Wagner College and the author of numerous books, including John Donne’s Poetry and Early Modern Visual Culture.
Product Details ISBN: 9781649590978
ISBN-10: 1649590970
Publisher: Iter Press
Publication Date: December 21st, 2023
Pages: 93
Language: English
Series: The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series
"This fine volume makes available a play long overlooked in Restoration drama studies: Polwhele’s The Faithful Virgins (ca. 1669–1671). Ann Hollinshead Hurley’s informative introduction and carefully edited text disclose Polwhele’s imaginative response to rapidly changing theatrical tastes in the1660s. The stage directions show Polwhele skillfully using the spectacular effects of which Restoration stagecraft was capable, while the text reveals a fascinating mélange of dramatic forms. The Faithful Virgins marries in a singular manner tragicomedy to masque and includes a dumb show, proving once again, that the phrase “Restoration drama” is by no means synonymous with comedy of manners. The editor’s introduction also provides for scholars and students alike useful information on the Restoration stage, in addition to making available the most thorough biographical material on Polwhele to date."
— Deborah C. Payne, Professor of Literature, American University