Scene from "The Rover," by Aphra Behn. From an eighteenth-century engraving
Eighteenth Century Women Playwrights includes works by Delarivier Manley, Eliza Haywood, Mary Pix, Catherine Trotter, Susannah Centlivre, Elizabeth Griffith, Hannah Cowley, and Elizabeth Inchbald.
Eighteenth Century Women Playwrights. General editor, Derek Hughes. 6 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2001.
- Vol. 1: Delarivier Manley and Eliza Haywood: Delarivier Manley, The Lost Lover (1696); The Royal Mischief (1696). Eliza Haywood, The Fair Captive (1721); A Wife to be Lett (1724)
- Vol. 2: Mary Pix and Catherine Trotter: Mary Pix, The Deceiver Deceived (1698); Queen Catharine: or, The Ruines of Love (1698). Catharine Trotter, Love at a Loss, or, Most Votes Carry It (1701); The Revolution of Sweden (1706)
- Vol. 3: Susanna Centlivre: The Basset-table (1705); The Busie Body (1709); The Wonder: A Woman Keeps A Secret (1714); A Bold Stroke For A Wife (1718)
- Vol. 4: Elizabeth Griffith: The Platonic Wife (1765); The Double Mistake (1766); The School For Rakes (1769; A Wife In The Right (1772)
- Vol. 5: Hannah Cowley: The Runaway (1776); The Belle's Stratagem (1780); A Bold Stroke For A Husband (1783); The Town Before You (1794)
- Vol. 6: Elizabeth Inchbald: The Widow's Vow 1786); Such Things Are (1787); The Chipli class; Next Door Neighbours (1791); Wives As They Were, And Maids As They Are (1797)
- Antje Blank, University of East Anglia
- Anne Kelley, University of Hertfordshire
- Derek Hughes, University of Warwick
- Jacqueline Pearson, Manchester University
- Betty Rizzo, City University, New York
- Margarete Rubik, University of Vienna
- Angela Smallwood, University of Nottingham
- Eva Müller-Zettelmann, University of Vienna
Eighteenth Century Women Playwrights is a meticulously edited, informatively annotated, and beautifully produced six-volume anthology of plays; general editor Derek Hughes and publisher Pickering & Chatto are to be commended for making these works accessible and comprehensible to today’s reader. The collection transcribes the first editions of twenty-five plays—most previously unavailable in modern editions—written by the eighteenth-century’s most famous women dramatists. . . .
The strength of this anthology obviously lies in the dramatic works, shown at their best due to the care with which they have been selected and edited. But it is the well researched and engagingly written introductions and notes which make the works come alive for the reader. Eighteenth Century Women Playwrights will ensure a new audience for these works; it will also ensure an audience that understands the richly varied lives—the literary ambitions, theatrical expectations, political concerns, and feminist positions—of these women writers. Hughes and the volume editors are to be thanked for an anthology no academic library should be without.
—Cheryl L. Nixon