Introduction to the Tragedy of Jane Shore and the Tragedy of the Lady Jane Gray

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Rowe’s final plays, The Tragedy of Jane Shore (1714) and The Tragedy of the Lady Jane Gray (1715), appeared in the wake of a seven-year hiatus from stage writing and some five years after the publication of Rowe’s six-volume edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Here, in his last dramatic works, Rowe engaged with subjects from English history in writing two ‘she-tragedies’, the genre whose label he coined in the epilogue to Jane Shore and which had previously brought him acclaim with The Fair Penitent (1702). Both plays experienced successful initial runs and Jane Shore went on to become one of the most popular plays in the eighteenth-century repertory, ensuring Rowe’s reputation as a celebrated dramatist in the decades following his death in 1718 and providing a vehicle for many of the century’s most famous performers, including Sarah Siddons, Mary Ann Yates, and David Garrick.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Plays and Poems of Nicholas Rowe, Volume III
Subtitle of host publicationThe Late Plays
EditorsStephen Bernard, Claudine van Hensbergen
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781134981564
ISBN (Print)9781138762053
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016

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