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Old, Bold and Won’t Be Told
Shakespeare’s Amazing Ageing Ladies

By Yvonne Oram

Old, Bold and Won’t Be Told
RRP £9.99 / $18.95
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Paperback, 146 pages
Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978 0 85728 203 3
Format: 5486mm x 3556mm / 216 x 140 inches

This title is available to purchase as an eBook at key retailers.

Revealing Shakespeare’s old ladies – a scholarly yet lively exploration of the presentation of ageing women on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage.

Old women in Early Modern plays are stereotypically presented as ugly, randy, mouthy, mad.  So Shakespeare is rare among dramatists of the day for his lively and empowering depictions of ageing ladies. This well-researched, accessible book looks at the way his old women subvert the stereotypes. There is particular focus on Paulina in The Winter’s Tale as a uniquely powerful old woman.


Introduction; Part 1 Early Modern Women Onstage and Off; Old Women Onstage – Not a Pretty Sight?; Old Women Offstage – Out and About; ‘Her Indoors’; Part 2 Dramatic Stereotypes of the Old Woman; Loyal and Loving; Embarrassing and Bawdy; Disobedient and Dangerous; Power-mad and Passionate; Part 3 Shakespeare’s Subversion of the Stereotypes; Wayward Wives; Much-Maligned Mothers; ‘Egypt’s Widow’; Part 4 Paulina’s Power; Conclusion; Bibliography

Yvonne Oram has worked as a journalist and teacher, with an interest in Elizabethan and Jacobean history and drama. www.yvonneoram.com



Imprint: Union Bridge Books


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