West End women : representations of woman, the female and femininity, in plays by women on the London stage 1918-1962
This thesis is an attempt to identify and reposition the work of a number of women playwrights whose work was produced on the London Stage between 1918-1962. The existing academic assumption about these playwrights is either that they have no significant place in a history of the drama, or that their work was not rooted in feminist ideology. The thesis sets out to analyse their work in the context for which it was created; a time in which both women's lives and the British theatre, were transformed by war, cultural change and a change in their status within the public domain. As such, the plays are examined in relation to social, cultural and ideological developments and change, which particularly affected both women's lives and the perception of what it meant to be a woman. Similarly, the emergent theories of femaleness and femininity, which grew in number during the period under examination and are outlined in the thesis, have a relevance to a reading of the dramatic texts in question. There are, as far as I am aware, no other detailed studies of plays by women playwrights of the period analysed here. As such, it is hoped that this thesis constitutes at least the beginnings of such a study. Some of the plays quoted here, were treated in less detail and within a far less theoretical framework in a Masters thesisWhich was submitted in 1988.