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Durham e-Theses
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'When She Went To School': Dramatic Representations of Female Education, c.1590-1730

DAVIES, ORLAGH,MARIE (2023) 'When She Went To School': Dramatic Representations of Female Education, c.1590-1730. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 08 November 2026.


This thesis analyses representations of female education in early modern drama, c. 1590-1730. The first full-length study to do so, it looks at plays authored by a wide range of dramatists, both male and female, canonical and non canonical, and aims to present an in-depth picture of how female education was presented on the stage in a period when attitudes towards and methods of such education were frequently changing. By covering a broad time period, this thesis hopes to track the longitudinal trends and differences in how female education was depicted dramatically from the late sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries.
To reflect the multifaceted nature of education, this thesis is split into three of its most important elements: Pupils, Teachers, and Spaces. Part One, ‘Pupils', asks some of the basic questions regarding female education, such as: who are the girls and women that learn in early modern drama? What do they learn, why do they learn it, and when does their education end? Who decides what they learn, and why? Part Two, ‘Teachers’, looks at female and male teachers respectively, asking who they are on the social scale, and how this affects what and how they teach.
Are there differences between how female and male teachers are presented in early modern drama, and what are they if so? What kinds of curricula do they offer to their charges? Finally, Part Three, ‘Spaces’, explores the dramatic significance of where female education takes place, from the boarding school to the home, the university to the closet. Who can enter these spaces, and how do characters that cannot, or will not, respond? Do some spaces engender superior learning conditions to others, and if so, why?

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Nov 2023 11:06

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