- 6133 Helen C. White Hall
- (608) 263-2832
- E-mail Karen Britland
- Early modern English and French literature, gender studies, drama
Degrees and Institutions
PhD, English, University of Leeds, U.K., 2000
MA, English, University of Reading, U.K., 1995
BA, English, Oxford University, U.K., 1993
I am the author of Drama at the Courts of Queen Henrietta Maria (Cambridge, 2006), and the editor of the New Mermaids edition of Elizabeth Cary’s play, The Tragedy of Mariam. I am an associate editor on the forthcoming Cambridge edition of the Complete Works of Ben Jonson, for which I edited Jonson’s play fragment, Mortimer His Fall. I have contributed chapters to The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing and The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s Last Plays, and have published essays on early modern drama and women’s writing in several journals and book collections.
Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, women’s writing, early modern political and religious culture, theater history, early modern Europe, court culture.
I have recently edited James Shirley’s play The Imposture for the Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley edition. I am also working on a book-length project about discourses of anti-intellectualism, particularly as they are applied to the study of Shakespeare.
The Tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry is a Jacobean closet drama by Elizabeth Tanfield Cary. First published in 1613, it was the first work by a woman to be published under her real name. Never performed during Cary's lifetime, and apparently never intended for performance, the Senecan revenge tragedy tells the story of Mariam, the second wife of Herod. A new introduction includes recent criticism and new developments in theatre history and scholarship.
Cambridge University Press
Drama at the Courts of Queen Henrietta Maria considers Queen Henrietta Maria's patronage of drama in England in the light of her French heritage. Karen Britland challenges a common view of Henrietta Maria as a meddlesome and frivolous woman whose actions contributed to the outbreak of the English civil wars by showing how she was consistent in her allegiances to her family and friends, and how her cultural and political positions were reflected in the plays and court masques she sponsored.