A Race Of Female Patriots: Women and Public Spirit on the British Stage, 1688-1745 by BRETT WILSONA Race Of Female Patriots: Women and Public Spirit on the British Stage, 1688-1745 by BRETT WILSON

A Race Of Female Patriots: Women and Public Spirit on the British Stage, 1688-1745

byBRETT WILSON

Hardcover | December 23, 2011

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A Race of Female Patriots argues that public-spirited women proliferated on the eighteenth-century British stage to catalyze an affective experience of political belonging, as dramatists imagined new forms of affiliation, allegiance, and loyalty suitable to the new British constitution established by the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Brett D. Wilson examines both staples of the repertory (The Fair Penitent, Jane Shore) and lesser-known plays (Liberty Asserted, The Revolution of Sweden, Edward and Eleonora) to define the parameters of a prevalent yet under-examined dramatic mode: "civic" dramas that use scenes of political strife and private distress to stage the fashioning of communities around women. Onstage, women act to benefit the public-crucially, Wilson argues, by infusing the commonwealth with sentimental ardor: public spirit. Playwrights like Nicholas Rowe, Catharine Trotter, John Dennis, and James Thomson make the female-centered unions they imagine into synecdoches for a British nation transformed from turmoil to harmony. Restoring to view key neglected texts that portray women who feel deeply as agents of inclusion and icons of civic virtue, A Race of Female Patriots is a persuasive study of tragic drama at a time of great political change that yields new insight into the relation between women, feeling, and the public sphere.
Brett D. Wilson is associate professor of English at the College of William & Mary. His articles on sympathy and national feeling in eighteenth-century British drama have appeared in ELH and Eighteenth-Century Studies.
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Title:A Race Of Female Patriots: Women and Public Spirit on the British Stage, 1688-1745Format:HardcoverDimensions:310 pages, 9.46 × 6.42 × 1.1 inPublished:December 23, 2011Publisher:Bucknell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1611483646

ISBN - 13:9781611483642

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Table of Contents

Preface.Introduction. "A female patriot? Vanity! Absurd!"Chapter 1. "How Hard Is the Condition of Our Sex": The Female Advocate and the Subject of Sympathy in The Fair PenitentChapter 2. That Sex's Care: Sentimental Union and the Common GoodChapter 3. Public Victims: Janes, Jacobites, and the National She-TragedyChapter 4."Even in the Softer Sex": Gendering Patriotism in the Plays of James ThomsonEpilogue. Circulating Power, Public Affections, and the Re-masculinization of British Public SpiritWorks Cited

Editorial Reviews

The strength of the book lies in the way it provides a new sense of the cultural logic of these texts considered generically as exemplars of a specifically Whig ideology.