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The 'New Woman' in the Theatre

Aspects of Theatre and Performance


The ‘New Woman’ in the Theatre


Thursdays 2-4pm in room H081


A number of the plays to be studied on this module are to be found in The New Woman and Other Emancipated Women Plays, ed. Jean Chothia (Oxford, 1998). Although this title is currently out of print, secondhand editions are available from amazon.co.uk and similar sources. Elaine Showalter’s Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siece (London, 1991) is also out of print, but is highly recommended if you can locate a copy.



18 January: Mid-nineteenth-century attitudes to gender (women’s legal status, the separate-spheres ideology, the ‘angel in the house’)


John Ruskin, ‘Of Queen’s Gardens’ from Sesame and Lilies (lecture, 1865) – extract

Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1860, novel) – extracts

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (1862, novel) - extracts

Extracts


25 January: Dangerous sexuality and the ‘ fallen woman’

Arthur W. Pinero, The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893)

Oscar Wilde, Salomé (1894)


1 February: The madwoman in the attic

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (1862, novel)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892, short story)


8 February: Ibsen’s Nora as a prototype of the New Woman; satirical views of the new woman

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (1879)

The Achurch/Charrington production of A Doll’s House (London, 1889)

Sidney Grundy, The New Woman (1894, in The New Woman & Other Emancipated Woman Plays)

‘Donna Quixote’ (Punch cartoon, 1894)


15 February: Reading Week


22 February: New Women, odd women and women in public spaces

George Gissing, The Odd Women (1893, novel)

George Bernard Shaw, Mrs Warren’s Profession (1894)

Arthur W. Pinero, The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith (1895, in The New Woman & Other Emancipated Woman Plays)


1 March: The suffragettes and the fight for the vote

Elizabeth Robins, Votes for Women (1907, The New Woman & Other Emancipated Woman Plays)


8 March: Claiming public space: processions, and plays by the Actresses’ Franchise League

C. Hamilton and Christopher St. John, How the Vote was Won (1909)

Evelyn Glover, A Chat with Mrs Chicky (1912)

Evelyn Glover, Miss Appleyard’s Awakening

Cicely Hamilton, A Pageant of Great Women (1909)


15 March: Work, sexuality and motherhood

Elizabeth Baker, Chains (1909)

Harley Granville Barker, The Madras House (1910)

Stanley Houghton, Hindle Wakes (1912)


EASTER BREAK


26 April: Work, sexuality and motherhood

Cicely Hamilton, Diana of Dobson’s (1908)

St. John Hankin, The Last of the De Mullins (1908, in The New Woman and Other Emancipated Women Plays)