Six Gothic Dramas

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Valancourt Books, 2007 - Drama - 415 pages
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A melancholy nobleman, consumed with hatred, commits a brutal murder. A beautiful woman is imprisoned by her abusive guardian in a haunted castle, driving her mad. A prophetic dream leads a group of monks to a buried corpse and leads to justice for the murderer. A family feud drives a clan to strand a rival on a rock to be drowned by the rising tide. A joyful wedding turns sinister when a ghost appears to reveal the tragic secret of her death. A group of women, condemned as witches, are doomed to be burnt at the stake.

These are the plots of the six plays in this collection by Scottish dramatist Joanna Baillie. Baillie (1762-1851) was regarded by many in her day as the greatest female English-language poet, and second as a dramatist only to Shakespeare. Recently rediscovered by scholars after nearly a century and a half of neglect, Baillie is now recognised as one of the finest of Romantic-era playwrights. This new edition features the complete text of six of her best plays, four of them reprinted here for the first time since 1851. Also included is a new introduction by Christine Colon, discussing Baillie's life and works, and arguing that Baillie used the Gothic in innovative ways in her drama in order to explore controversial issues such as changing definitions of masculinity and femininity, shifting political alliances, and evolving ideas of Christianity.

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User Review  - velvetflamingo - LibraryThing

"There is a joy in fear." Finally, some of Baillie's plays (besides her best-known work, "De Monfort") back in print. Their tone is clearly more serious and psychological, befitting her frequent ... Read full review

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