The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2616 Friday, 16 November 2001
Date: Thursday, 15 Nov 2001 17:39:44 +0000
Subject: 12.2605 Re: "Gangs" of Young Women in London
Comment: Re: SHK 12.2605 Re: "Gangs" of Young Women in London
>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.
Well, that text was edited by Janet Todd and Elizabeth Spearing for
their 'Counterfeit Ladies' publication (London: Pickering and Chatto,
1994). That is fairly easy to come by. Incidentally, there isn't a
shred of evidence to suggest that Frith had anything to do with that
sensationalised 'Life'; I can't see why it should be included on any
women's writing course. A rather splendid article by Gustav Ungerer, in
last year's 'Shakespeare Studies', does much to differentiate between
the 'facts' and the 'myths' of Moll's career. As for gangs of unruly
women in London, the representations that immediately come to mind are
in Fletcher's 'The Woman's Prize/The Tamer Tamed', Jonson's
'Epicene/Silent Woman' and Middleton's 'Chaste Maid in Cheapside'.
Kevin De Ornellas
Queen's University, Belfast
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