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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: "Gangs" of Young Women in London
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2605  Thursday, 15 November 2001

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Nov 2001 18:25:39 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2603 "Gangs" of Young Women in London

[2]     From:   Matthew Steggle <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Nov 2001 09:33:14 +0000
        Subj:   Gangs of young women in London


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Nov 2001 18:25:39 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 12.2603 "Gangs" of Young Women in London
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2603 "Gangs" of Young Women in London

> I am looking for any information about "gangs" of young women in London
> (XVI/XVII century). I know almost every official has attacked them, but
> I even don't know what so obscene or unsocial was in their behavior that
> this woman was treated worse than thieves or prostitutes.

Among the texts you will want to read is "The Life of Mary Frith,"
edited by Randall Nakayama. Frith inspired the character of the roaring
girl, Moll Cutpurse. The text is at least semi-autobiographical.
Unfortunately, there is no widely available popular edition of this
work. I would think it should be included in more syllabi of early
modern women's writing, even if it has dual authorship.

Jack Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Steggle <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Nov 2001 09:33:14 +0000
Subject:        Gangs of young women in London

Piotr might be interested in Richard Brome's comedy of 1633, The Weeding
of Covent Garden, featuring two gangs - The Brothers of the Blade and
the Sisters of the Scabbard.  The women are pretty much prostitutes,
actually, but they also drink, physically beat up men, and are generally
lewd and disorderly.  I'm unaware of - and I too would be very
interested in - any historical evidence of the Sisters of the Scabbard
to set next to this literary record.

All the best,
 Matt Steggle.

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