By Alma J. Bennett
Whereas the background of yankee theatre has been generally documented, the heritage of its lady reviewers has been usually missed. This publication seeks to right that oversight by means of exploring the position of the good girl American critics, thereby increasing their canonical prestige. The anthology offers a quick description of the women's lives, their operating stipulations, samples in their writing, and helping analyses. For a few readers, this can be a primary come upon with ladies who need to be represented within the American theatre in their instances and famous for his or her contributions to the improvement of dramatic conception and feedback.
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Extra info for American Women Theatre Critics: Biographies and Selected Writings of Twelve Reviewers, 1753-1919
These do in fact divide the majority of the people; while those who rally round the standard of America are reduced to a very inconsiderable party. We are far removed from the elder world; the wide Atlantic is our barrier. Persons of information afﬁrm, that we possess within ourselves the sources of independence; and it is certainly true, that the interior of our country, reduced to a state of cultivation, would become amply productive, largely supplying every essential article of life. Necessity is pronounced the mother of invention — Improvement follows; and those elegancies, or superﬂuities, to which we are attached, would, by a natural process, become the growth of America.
Because I am a woman, and a woman must content herself with indoor life, with sewing and babies. Well, they pretend to say that God intended women to be just what they are. I say He did not, that men have made women what they are, and if they attribute their doings to the Almighty, they lie . In this same journal entry, Field’s longings seem to foreshadow those of Virginia Wolfe when she writes, “It seems to me that one of the greatest delights of life to a thinking mind must be a study — a room religiously your own, ...
I conceive it will not be denied that, from a chaste and discretely regulated theatre, many attendant advantages will indisputably result. Young persons will acquire a reﬁnement of taste and manners; they will learn to think, speak, and act, with propriety; a thirst for knowledge will be originated; and from attentions, at ﬁrst, perhaps, constituting only the amusement of the hour, they will gradually proceed to more important inquiries. * * * * * The Gleaner confesses that his expectations were more than answered; but the Gleaner hath never witnessed the theatrical abilities of a Garrick, or a Siddons; nor is he certain he ought to regard this as a misfortune.
American Women Theatre Critics: Biographies and Selected Writings of Twelve Reviewers, 1753-1919 by Alma J. Bennett