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Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern EnglandThe Material Life of the Household$
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Catherine Richardson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719065446

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719065446.001.0001

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A Woman Killed With Kindness

A Woman Killed With Kindness

(p.150) 5 A Woman Killed With Kindness
Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern England

Catherine Richardson

Manchester University Press

Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed With Kindness is a very different kind of domestic tragedy from Arden of Faversham or Two Lamentable Tragedies. It is not based on a historical narrative, and its only gestures towards geographical particularity are a few mentions of York and Yorkshire. There is no murder, and hence none of the accompanying tense frustrations of murder's prelude or aftermath and little of the temporal tightness with which long hours of anticipation are stretched in the other plays. Neither are the social tensions of competition between men quite the same in Heywood's play. The prologue sets up both the strictures of representation and the privations of low status, making suggestive comparison between the way material culture negotiates both types of difference. The insistence on the interrelationship of domestic spaces gives the play its strong sense of a physically coherent household, one that contains and gives significance to the events which take place within it.

Keywords:   Thomas Heywood, Killed With Kindness, domestic tragedy, low status, material culture, domestic spaces, household

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