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The Faithful Virgins

The first-ever print edition of a play by one of the first women playwrights in England.

E. Polwhele (c. 1651-c. 1691) was one of the first women to write for the stage in Restoration London. This book presents the first printed edition of Polwhele’s first play, The Faithful Virgins, which until now has existed only in an unsigned manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. A tragicomedy apparently performed in London by the Duke's Company ca. 1669–1671, The Faithful Virgins is altogether different in tone from Polwhele's later, better-known prose comedy, The Frolicks; or, The Lawyer Cheated (1671). The introduction to this modern-spelling edition of The Faithful Virgins discusses the play in terms of radical changes in English stage practices following the restoration of the monarchy after England’s civil war and situates Polwhele’s play within the social and political life of seventeenth-century London.

124 pages | 2 color plates, 4 halftones | 6 x 9

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series

History: British and Irish History

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

Women's Studies

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Table of Contents






Title page: The Gentlewomans Companion; or, a GUIDE to the FEMALE SEX
On His ROYAL HIGHNESS: His Expedition against the DUTCH


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