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Title: Textual materiality and contemporary literary borrowings in the Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis comedies of Aphra Behn, 1678-1681
Author: Bowditch, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 059X
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2015
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In the preface to her play 'The Luckey Chance; or, An Alderman's Bargain', Aphra Behn invited 'any unprejudic'd Person [...] to read any of my Comedys and compare 'em with others of this Age'. This study examines Aphra Behn's comedies staged between 1678 and 1681 in light of their textual borrowings from mid- to late seventeenth-century French and English literature and drama, or 'others of this Age', in order to more firmly establish Aphra Behn's authorial contexts. Examined here, therefore, are both previously identified sources from which Behn made active borrowings, and previously unidentified sources, in both English and French, which also evidence indubitable borrowings by Behn in her Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis comedies. Evidence of such appropriation is explored here through the lens of Aphra Behn's treatment of material text, in the form of both letters and legalized documentation. Of especial consideration is how, through active revisions of, and departures from, her source texts, Behn explores the capacity of written texts to facilitate misdirections, arouse suspicion, highlight characters' interpretative limitations, and provoke laughter. Also highlighted here is the fact that the textual complexity of Aphra Behn's comedies staged between 1678 and 1681 lies partly in their own thematic concerns and internal structurings and parallels, but more so in their textual and performative allusions, the appropriative strategies that they evidence, and the range of literary networks that they operate within.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Loughborough University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified ; Aphra Behn ; Restoration ; Drama ; Theatre ; Intertextuality ; Literary borrowing ; Materiality