"Here lies she whom her husband's kindness killed" This is the epitaph, in golden letters, Master John Frankford proposes for the tomb of his wife, Anne, who has just starved herself to death. Frankford congratulates himself on the clever means by which he has brought his wife to repentance-and got rid of her. The marriage is comfortable, if uneventful, until Frankford gives his friend Wendoll the free use of his table and purse. When Wendoll takes even more than was offered, and confesses his desperate love to Anne, a complex and tragic drama ensues. Praised as Heywood's best play and as the best "domestic tragedy," A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603) requires us to consider who and what the household includes and on what conditions. What are the limits of hospitality? What are the relationships between friendship and marriage, intimacy and possession? This student edition contains a fully annotated version of the playtext in modern spelling. The Introduction includes a detailed discussion of the play's interpretation and stage history.
Frances E. Dolan is an expert on the literature and culture of England from 1500-1700 and an award-winning teacher. Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, she has also taught at Miami University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University. Her textbook, The Taming of the Shrew: Texts and Contexts (1996), continues to be taught widely, as do the five plays she has edited. In addition, Dolan is the author of four scholarly books, most recently True Relations: Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England (2013), as well as numerous articles in journals and collections. A former president of the Shakespeare Association of America, she has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Newberry and Folger libraries), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and, most recently, the Huntington Library, where she was a Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow.
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