Gender, Theatre, and the Origins of Criticism: From Dryden to Manley

Synopsis

Marcie Frank explores the theoretical and literary legacy of John Dryden to a number of prominent women writers of his time. Frank examines the pre-eminence of gender, sexuality and the theater in Dryden's critical texts that are predominantly rewritings of the work of his own literary precursors--Ben Jonson, Shakespeare and Milton. She proposes that Dryden develops a native literary tradition that is passed on as an inheritance to his heirs--Aphra Behn, Catharine Trotter, and Delarivier Manley--as well as to their male contemporaries.