Feminist Comedy: Women Playwrights of London

Cover: Feminist Comedy: Women Playwrights of London
Willow White

June 2024 • ISBN 9781644533413 • $150.00

June 2024 • ISBN 9781644533406 • $37.95

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Early Modern Feminisms

Feminist Comedy: Women Playwrights of London identifies the eighteenth-century comedic stage as a key site of feminist critique, practice, and experimentation. While the history of feminism and comedy is undeniably vexed, by focusing on five women playwrights of the latter half of the eighteenth century–Catherine Clive, Frances Brooke, Frances Burney, Hannah Cowley, and Elizabeth Inchbald–this book demonstrates that stage comedy was crucial to these women’s professional success in a male-dominated industry and reveals a unifying thread of feminist critique that connects their works. Though male detractors denied women’s comic ability throughout the era, eighteenth-century women playwrights were on the cutting edge of comedy and their work had important feminist influence that can be traced to today’s stages and screens.

About the Author

Willow White is assistant professor at the University of Alberta and her research focuses on English theatre and literature of the long eighteenth century with specialization in women writers, literatures of empire, and Indigeneity. She coedited A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (2022) with Tiffany Potter, and her work has appeared in such journals as Women’s Writing and Eighteenth-Century Studies.