Squeaking Cleopatras: The Elizabethan Boy Player

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Sutton, 2000 - History - 222 pages
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'That woman is a woman!' So thundered Simon Callow in the film Shakespeare in Love, thus underlining one of the great differences between our theatre and that of the Elizabethans where women were prohibited from appearing on the stage. In this highly controversial book, the first on the subject for over sixty years, Joy Leslie Gibson looks at the female roles in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama from the point of view of the boys who actually had to create these fascinating and dramatic parts.

Scrupulously researched, this groundbreaking book sheds new light not only on Elizabethan drama but also on society as a whole. It will be required reading for any lover of Shakespeare or anyone made curious by a visit to the theatre to see one of Shakespeare's plays.

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Education and Apprenticeships
To be a Woman

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About the author (2000)

Gibson, a retired journalist and editor, holds two master's degrees, one from the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.

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