John Banks’s Female Tragic Heroes

Reimagining Tudor Queens in Restoration She-Tragedy


In John Banks’s Female Tragic Heroes, Paula de Pando offers the first monograph on Restoration playwright John Banks. De Pando analyses Banks’s civic model of she-tragedy in terms of its successful adaptation of early modern literary traditions and its engagement with contemporary political and cultural debates. Using Tudor queens as tragic heroes and specifically addressing female audiences, patrons and critics, Banks made women rather than men the subject of tragedy, revolutionising drama and influencing depictions of gender, politics, and history in the long eighteenth century.

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Paula de Pando, Ph.D. (University of Seville, 2010), is Associate Researcher at that university. She has published extensively on Restoration drama, including co-editing Durfey’s The Marriage-Hater Matched (University of Barcelona, 2014) and contributing to The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Literature: 1660-1789.


1 Banks’s Heroic Dramas

2 The Unhappy Favourite and the Reinvention of Tudor England

3 From Female Saints to Political Martyrs: Vertue Betray’d, The Innocent Usurper, and the Transformative Power of the “Last Dying Words”

4 Women Take Centre Stage: Lesbian Desire in The Island Queens

5 Conclusion: The Legacy of She-Tragedy
All interested in literature and politics in the Restoration, she-tragedy, the history play after Shakespeare, Tudor queens in the long eighteenth century, the first English actresses, and gender studies.
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