Anne Finch, Restoration Playwright

Diana Solomon, Simon Fraser University

The poet Anne Finch wrote and translated plays, play prologues, epilogues, and songs, and should thus be considered a Restoration playwright. That she has not been so regarded is due to her own gendered and classed self-effacement, critical bias against closet dramas, and modern-day scholars’ prioritization of her manuscript housed at Wellesley College, which is nontheatrical, over her manuscript at the Folger Shakespeare Library, which contains multiple plays, dramatic prologues and epilogues, and songs. An analysis of these texts demonstrates that Finch shares thematic and structural sensibilities with her Restoration colleagues, while a material examination of the Folger manuscript indicates that Finch envisioned her dramatic work in performance and publication.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]