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John Banks’s Female Tragic Heroes

Reimagining Tudor Queens in Restoration She-Tragedy

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Paula de Pando

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.