Cross Dressing She-Gallants

Cross Dressing She-Gallants
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“I WOU’D HAVE SEEN ALL MANKIND AT THE DEVIL, BEFORE I’DE HAVE TAKEN SO MUCH PAINS FOR ANY ONE OF ‘EM.”

LANDSDOWNE, Baron, George Granville. The She-Gallants : A Comedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre in Little-Lincoln-Inn-Fields, by His Majesty's servants. London. Printed for Henry Playford in the Temple-Change. And Benj.Tooke at the Middle-Temple-Gate In Fleet street. 1696. First Edition. [viii] 75, [i]. Bound in c20th quarter calf with sponge patterned paper covered boards, gilt title along spine. Text block lightly toned, first and last leaves dusty, complete, and in Very Good plus condition.

An interesting play, written when the author was just fifteen, (and apparently not well received when first performed) is a comedy of manners which explores the relationships between women and men. The play opens with two women Angelica and Constantia cross dressing as men.

“Ang: An Old Roman, as I have heard, began an Oration to this purpose: If we could break off all Communications with Women, we shou’d be freed from many Troubles. Now, I say, if we Women wou’d renounce Mankind, we shou’d avoid many Evils, and be reveng’d for the past; for what cou’d they do without us?”

Constantia gives her fairly withering opinion of men a few lines later “……Anything that’s well Periwig’d, and Powder’d, and Steenkirk’d [a cravat with long hanging ends loosely twisted or looped together], and Embroider’d, is a Man. Singing and Dancing, and Dress is Breeding. Noise, Familiarity and Impertinence, is Wit. Whistling to one’s self- as thus – or taking Snuff gravely – as thus- passes for Thought, and serious Consideration: And all this put together, is a Man.”

£490.00


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