The Ladies: Female Patronage of Restoration Drama, 1660-1700
This is the first in-depth study of a female audience that shows how and why women went to the theater in Restoration England. Robert challenges the assumption that a "ladies' faction" played an important part in encouraging the playhouses to present a more moral, less bawdy or "satirical" style of comedy, thus changing the course of English drama. He shows that there is no evidence of this faction, and that "sentimental" comedies really did cater to the interest of their female audience by incorporating the fashionable concern for women's rights. Drawing on many sources, including the life of Elizabeth Pepys, the book investigates just who these "ladies" were, what determined their theater-going, how often they went, what they liked and did in the theater, and the role of patronage at the court of three Restoration queens.
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Elizabeth Pepys Playgoer
Women in the Playhouse
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