dorothea baird

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Anna Jameson’s Shakespeare’s Heroines–seen here in an 1898 edition–made a significant mark on Shakespeare studies upon its initial publication in 1832.  Originally published under the title Characteristics of Women, Moral, Poetical, and Historical, the work includes brief essays on nearly all of Shakespeare’s principle women.

The essays themselves are a fascinating look at Shakespeare through the lens of 19th-century gender norms and expectations.  But this particular edition also has photographs of popular actresses accompanying the essays, adding another level of interest by allowing modern readers a chance to explore Shakespearean costuming and casting choices during the mid and late 19th century.