Edited by Sally Greene
“Greene’s anthology is a treasury of contemporary scholarship and insight about ‘the period Woolf loved best’ (208 n. 12). One might go so far as to say that it is a revenant of Judith Shakespeare who has now been given a scholarly dimension if not voice.”
Evelyn Haller, Doane College
“…Virginia Woolf: Reading the Renaissance is worth dissection and study, if only to apreciate fully what is perhaps the collection’s most notable achievement: the contrast and comparison of one visionary age and its artists with another.”
Rachael Holmes, Virginia Woolf Bulletin
The story of “Shakespeare’s sister” that Virginia Woolf tells in A Room of One’s Own has sparked interest in the question of the place of the woman writer in the Renaissance. By now, the process of recovering lost voices of early modern women is well under way. But Woolf’s engagement with the Renaissance went deeper than that question indicates, as important as it was. Her writing reveals a lifelong conversation with the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from the travel narratives of Hakluyt to the works of Donne, Milton, Montaigne, and of course Shakespeare.
The first collection of essays to explore Woolf’s Renaissance, Virginia Woolf: Reading the Renaissance reflects an important interdisciplinary development: contributors include Renaissance as well as twentieth–century specialists. Part of a larger movement to explore the intellectual currents shaping our literary and cultural inheritance, these essays speak to a community of readers that includes, in addition to Woolf and Renaissance scholars, anyone interested in the deep roots of modernism, women’s studies, or literary history itself.
Sally Greene is an independent scholar affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a frequent contributor to critical studies on Virginia Woolf. More info →
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“I here and there o’heard a Coxcomb cry, Ah, rot—’tis a Woman’s Comedy.” Thus Aphra Behn ushers in a new era for women in the British Theatre (Sir Patient Fancy, 1678). In the hundred years that were to follow—and exactly those years that Curtain Calls examines—women truly took the theater world by storm.
Traditional literary theory holds that women writers of the Restoration and eighteenth century produced works of limited range and value: simple tales of domestic conflict, seduction, and romance. Bringing a broad range of methodologies (historical, textual, post-structuralist, psychological) to bear on the works of Eliza Haywood, Charlotte Smith, Sarah Fielding, Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, and others. Fetter'd or Free?
Shakespeare’s King Lear appears twice in the records of dramatic performances before the closing of the theaters in 1642. The King’s Men played it before the King’s Majesty in Whitehall on December 26, 1606. The Lord Cholmeley’s Players gave it at Gowthwaite, a manor house of Sir John and Dame Julyan Yorke, Nidderdale, West Riding, in Candlemas, 1610.