Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions
Written during the English Civil War and Interregnum when the public theatres were closed and Margaret Cavendish was living away from England in exile, Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions are scathing satires that speak to the role of women’s agency amidst this cultural tumult. In Bell in Campo, a group of virtuous women follow their husbands to war and, refusing to remain docilely out of harm’s way, form an army of their own. The Sociable Companions details the struggles of four women from impoverished Royalist families trying to survive in a rapacious marriage market at the war’s end.
This Broadview Edition presents these two complementary plays together, along with supplementary materials on Cavendish’s life, the participation of women in the combat of the English Civil War, the conduct of the Royalist military forces, and seventeenth-century social and marriage conventions.
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A Note on the Texts
Selections from Margaret Cavendishs Auto
Marriage Markets Selections from Margaret