Skip to content Skip to navigation


Blog entry

A bit tangential to the reasons I'm blogging this collection -- although not as tangential as some of the later articles will be. Stay with me.

This may have been my favorite article in the whole collection. Not only were actresses hitting it big on stage in Italy in the 16th century, they took the show on the road and influenced the reception of women on stage across western Europe.

This is a fascinating article drawing connections between early modern "traveling medicine show" performers and more commedia traditions, as well as simply recognizing the mountebank tradition as a form of theater. And, of course, we're intersted in the parts women played in this profession.

Some of the articles in this collection are of insufficient relevance to my interests that I probably won't cross-post them on social media. This one comes close, although Moll Cutpurse is always on-brand for the LHMP. Not quite so much on-brand for a collection of articles about theater, in this case, as the occupations being discussed are rather tangential to the topic.

The source material project that this article draws from--Records of Early English Drama--is far more complete now than it was 20 years ago when this was written. It was being produced on a county-by-county basis and I suspect that some priority was given to locations of significant importance in early drama, such as York. Similar information to what is presented here, but for other English counties, would probably yield much of interest regarding women's performance history.

The collection kicks off with a detailed look at the wide variety of performance contexts in 16-17th century England and picks apart the notion that women were not performers.

Now that I've read and written up all the articles in this collection, I'm ready to roll them out in the blog, one per day. Not all of them are directly relevant even to my interests in the history of women in theater, but I've taken at least a few notes on all the articles. Despite being focused on England, these articles provide a lot of background on women in theater elsewhere in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. I suspect that my "women on stage" trope podcast is going to be rather longer than the usual for the trope shows.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 290 - On the Shelf for July 2024 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2024-07-06 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for July 2024.

It’s the middle of summer and all those summer plans are galloping down upon us like a herd of migrating wildebeest! Ok, not sure where that simile came from. Too much Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom in my youth, I think.

This is a list of books on the history of sexuality or queer history (that I’m aware of) that include m/m topics. This will not include books that are solely about m/m queer history because they fall outside my scope of interest. This list was compiled to answer a query on social media (and was too long to post there in response). Because the question was focused around 12th century France, I’ve bolded the titles that have specific coverage of the middle ages.

Although I'm mostly focusing on theater-related publications at the moment, I'd read and taken notes for this one, so I'm getting it off the desktop. It's always hard to find good resources for non-Western cultures, and what's available is often focused on male homoeroticism. I wish I could do better.


Subscribe to LHMP