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Distributed for Iter Press

Dramatizing Dido, Circe, and Griselda

One of the most acclaimed French poets from the turn of the eighteenth century and one of the rare women of the time to achieve recognition at court, Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Sainctonge was France’s first female librettist. The current volume provides not only the most in-depth biography of her ever published, but also the first appearance of any of her work in English. It features her two tragic opera libretti, both of which were set to music and staged at the Opéra, a spoken play that constitutes an important precursor of tearful comedy, and a small sampling of her poetry. The three dramatic works give thoughtful portrayals of women of high rank who exemplify traits such as fidelity, integrity and forthrightness, only to find themselves powerless in a misogynist society, where the male heroes turn out to be inglorious.
—Perry Gethner
Norris Professor of French, Oklahoma State University

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"One of the most acclaimed French poets from the turn of the eighteenth century and one of the rare women of the time to achieve recognition at court, Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Sainctonge was France's first female librettist. The current volume provides not only the most in-depth biography of her ever published, but also the first appearance of any of her work in English. It features her two tragic opera libretti, both of which were set to music and staged at the Opéra, a spoken play that constitutes an important precursor of tearful comedy, and a small sampling of her poetry. The three dramatic works give thoughtful portrayals of women of high rank who exemplify traits such as fidelity, integrity and forthrightness, only to find themselves powerless in a misogynist society, where the male heroes turn out to be inglorious."
 

Perry Gethner, Oklahoma State University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction
The Other Voice 1
Context for Women’s Theatrical Writing 2
Personal Context of Her Work
Family 7
Career 13
Personal Connections 35
Self-Representations 44
Criticism 50
Translations
Selected Poems
Introduction 53
Poems 54
Opera Librettos
Opera in Paris: Introduction 67
Dido
Introduction 85
Dido, Tragedy 103
Jean Baptiste Dubos: Critique of the Opera
Dido by Demarest 141
Circe
Introduction 145
Circe, Tragedy 167
Drama
Griselda
Introduction 207
Griselda, or the Princess of Saluzzo 225
Bibliography 270
Index 285

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