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Hannah Cowley Biography | Author of The Belle's Stratagem

This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Belle's Stratagem.
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Hannah Cowley is one of the foremost playwrights of the late eighteenth century. Often underrecognized, possibly because of her gender, her skill for writing fluid dialogue and developing spirited, unforgettable comic characters places her in a category with her better-known, male contemporaries.

Cowley was born Hannah Parkhouse in 1743 in Tiverton, Devonshire, England. Her father Philip Parkhouse, a bookseller with extensive schooling, provided Cowley with an impressive and rare education for a young eighteenth-century woman. As a result, Cowley was well versed in many subjects.

In 1772, Hannah married Thomas Cowley, son of another bookseller, who worked in several jobs, including as a theatre critic. In 1776, she decided to try her hand at writing for the stage to supplement the couple's income. She submitted her first finished play, which she penned in only a few weeks' time, to David Garrick, a theatre manager and actor. Surprising to everyone, including Cowley...

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This section contains 489 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Belle's Stratagem Study Guide
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The Belle's Stratagem from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.