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The Roaring Girl (New Mermaids) [Paperback]

Thomas Middleton , Thomas Dekker , Elizabeth Cook
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Roaring Girl (New Mermaids) The Roaring Girl (New Mermaids) 3.0 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

30 Sep 1997 New Mermaids
Another example of a woman of the London underworld, Moll Cutpurse, who is used by the son of a wealthy but disapproving father to advance his courtship to another. This re-edited text is part of a series presenting modern-spelling editions of important English plays.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (30 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713640928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713640922
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,273,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Thomas Middleton (1580 - 1627) was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Thomas Dekker (1570-1632) was an English dramatist. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One gender is not enough 8 Sep 2014
By Sphex
The character of Moll Cutpurse is so capacious that one gender is not enough to contain her spirit, and a big stage is the natural venue for a life story that seems one long fabulous performance. Moll is based on Mary Frith, born in the London of the 1580s and, by the time this play by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton appeared in 1611, she already had a notorious reputation as a woman who spoke her mind, smoked and drank in taverns, and wore both a sword and men's clothing. The play is much more than a one-woman show, however, and it remains a powerful social comedy. This edition is the prompt book for the 2014 RSC production (with the excellent Lisa Dillon in the title role), which cuts some of the characters from the original text and simplifies the language in places (changes that did not detract from the performance I saw).

Moll speaks the prologue, telling us that tragic passion is "out of fashion" and that she's not one of those roaring girls "who beats the watch" or "sells her soul to the lust of fools and slaves" - the subject of this tale "flies with wings more lofty." Although she's the star of the show, and despite the cuts, there's still a wide range of well-drawn characters, including the magistrate Sir Alexander Wengrave at the top of the social tree, the Tiltyards and the Gallipots in the middle, and Trapdoor and the servants at the bottom.

The romantic story is familiar enough: boy loves girl, girl loves boy, a parent doesn't approve, and someone has to come to the rescue. First, Sebastian deceives his father into believing he wants to marry Moll (he really wants to marry Mary), and so he sets about proposing to Moll once he knows his father, Sir Alexander, is in earshot. Moll, however, has "no humour to marry" even in jest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Additional reviews should be read with care 19 April 2014
Some of the reviews appear to reference another edition of this play. This edition is a new release for the RSC's Roaring Girls Season. This is an edited edition with a reduced cast, reflecting the ensemble size for the season. It benefits from introductory notes which provide insight into the director's production choices and editorial decisions. This prompt copy edition provides a valuable record for this excellent oroduction.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing play about Mad Moll 13 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Moll Cutpurse is a fascinating figure of Jacobean London, a female transvestite who transgressed social and gender boundaries. She swaggered around London in trousers, drank in taverns, swung her sword around and generally acted like a boorish male gallant. Her life is proof that there was a lot more to Jacobean women than the 'chaste, slient and obedient' role model put forward by the establishment.
Sadly, though, Middleton and Dekker's play - important though it is to gender historians - is not actually very good. Most of it is a stillborn city comedy, with the usual cuckolds, gallants and gulls going through their their usual, predictable motions. Moll Cutpurse turns up in a few scenes, and there is some interesting material as she chastises various men for their wickedness. She swings her sword, wears trousers, and calls herself Mad Moll a lot, which is all fine and dandy. But although Moll wears trousers she remains virtuous and thoroughly decent. The play concludes with a conventional marriage scene, and although Moll doesn't marry, she seems completely supportive of the status quo. It's all a bit of a damp squib. We want a Moll who is genuinely transgressive, but, whatever the real Moll was like, Middleton and Dekker prevent her from being truly threatening, and the play is sorely lacking in entertainment value.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Transcribed by a Robot. 24 Oct 2011
By Charlie
Do not buy this play if you want to read it. As stupid as this sounds, this play was created by some lazy people who scanned the original manuscript into a piece of text recognition software and then didn't bother to proofread it - they got a computer program to do that too. As a result, one is left with a completely incomprehensible version of the script: for example, one line reads
"S. Oaxr. Myfonnncluckf fpfr then (hall run with him Allinonepafture."
If you can understand this, then by all means buy this book.
The 'excerpt' provided on the product page is from the book they scanned - not the book you will be buying. I would recommend The Roaring Girl (New Mermaids) - despite being a little more expensive, it is actually readable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great play, strong female lead. 3 Dec 2013
By Annie - Published on
This is one of the better plays I've read recently. I really enjoyed it. It takes the notion of woman as a meek and docile housewife and turns it on its head, which was very, VERY unusual for the time period in which this play was written.

I adore Moll. Her 'women are not whores' speech to Laxton? One of my new favorite monologues. I just want to go out and perform it in the middle of town squares. It was AWESOME.

A great play, all in all.
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a lover of the Renaissance Drama 1 Dec 2011
By Cherree - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Roaring Girl" is a fun and fantastic drama. The main character Moll is both strong and cunning, but she helps young lovers in the quest to marry. Based off of the real Mary Frith, Dekker and Middleton take liberties with the character, but I feel that they do her justice as well. I will read it again, as well as write my Masters Thesis on it.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring. 30 Nov 2012
By Coma Crush - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One big early modern sex joke. Let's be honest, Shakespeare does it better. Save your money. Or buy "The Revenger's Tragedy" instead.
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