Labors Lost: Women's Work and the Early Modern English Stage
Korda's study is a fascinating and wide-ranging account of working women's behind-the-scenes and hitherto unacknowledged contributions to theatrical production in Shakespeare's time. She reveals that the purportedly all-male professional stage relied on the labor, wares, ingenuity, and capital of women of all stripes, including ordinary crafts- and tradeswomen who supplied costumes, props, and comestibles; wealthy heiresses and widows who provided much-needed capital and credit; wives, daughters, and widows of theater people who worked actively alongside their male kin; and immigrant women who fueled the fashion-driven stage with a range of newfangled skills and commodities. The book combines archival research on these and other women who worked in and around the playhouses with revisionist readings of canonical and lesser-known plays.
University of Pennsylvania Press