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Title: Heroines, anti-heroines and new women : the early drama of Michael Field, 1884-1895
Author: Kirby, Johanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 1260
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis represents an analysis of five dramatic works by Katharine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913) who wrote under the collaborative literary pseudonym “Michael Field” for nearly forty years from the late 1800s to their deaths. These are: Callirrhoë (1884), Fair Rosamund (1884), The Tragic Mary (1890), Stephania (1892), and Attila, My Attila! (1895). Although more recently Michael Field’s poetry has become the subject of more academic attention, here is currently little critical work on the Fields’ twenty-seven tragic dramas, and, as yet, no sustained analysis of individual plays. Over the course of five chapters, this thesis takes a new approach to these little known dramas and their eponymous heroines, carefully locating each one within both the context of the Fields’ lives, and the wider socio-cultural and political contexts which surround each play. It is the contention of this thesis, that through their dramatic writing, the Fields were engaging with a wide range of challenging issues, debates and concerns concerning the positioning and construction of middle-class female identity, role and sexuality. Through these analyses then, this study will consider the development of the Fields’ dramatic writing and identity as female dramatists within the wider social, cultural, literary, economic and political landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available