Thomas Heywood (1574?-1641), a professional English actor and one of the most prolific playwrights of the seventeenth century, is most famous for his plays written about contemporary English life.The Fair Maid of the West recalls typical Elizabethan bourgeois literature, but its primary relationship is with all adventure narratives regardless of their era. This romantic coThomas Heywood (1574?-1641), a professional English actor and one of the most prolific playwrights of the seventeenth century, is most famous for his plays written about contemporary English life.The Fair Maid of the West recalls typical Elizabethan bourgeois literature, but its primary relationship is with all adventure narratives regardless of their era. This romantic comedy features vivid pictures of English seaport life and travel to exotic locales by English sea captains. The plot is filled with pirate battles, a shipwreck, courageous adventures, and devoted love. If boredom is the perennial disability of men, adventure stories are the perennial therapy, operating as a restorative by encouraging an intermission in the ordinary powers and interests of the mind....
|Title||:||The Fair Maid of the West|
|Number of Pages||:||213 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Fair Maid of the West Reviews
Talk about the ideal woman - so fair a virgin, and so chaste a wife... while also an inn-keeper, sea-captain, pirate, royal consort. Wonder woman, look and learn. For poor Bess' sake, I really hope Spencer can perform between the sheets!
Fair Maid of the West or A Girl Worth Gold is a fun, silly play with lots of duels, disguises, sea battles, a breeches part, the King of Fez, etc. It must be incredibly exciting to see on stage--my mom saw it with Sean Bean in it, and said it was the most fun she ever had at the theater. My only complaint is that it seems extremely short--there's just not enough of the sorts of things that make breeches-part plays so fun--seems like it could be over in an hour or so. If I was going to stage it, I'd pad out the adventure sections, for sure. On the other hand, I've only read part 1; that's all that my collection of Heywood plays includes. Apparently part 2 is far less fun. Bess Bridges (the titular character) doesn't have much to do--she's more passive than she is in this earlier section. I'll definitely read Part 2 when I get a chance, but I'm in no great hurry. It's not so terrible that I'm not reading them together; contemporary audiences had to wait as much as 30 years for Heywood to get to the second part. Maybe he decided, like I did, that the first Part felt a little skimpy on its own.This, like the last play I read, The Plain Dealer, is another "virtue tested" play, where a woman's suitor consciously puts her in a position of temptation to see if she can remain loyal to him. It's far less mean spirited here than in The Plain Dealer. I guess that's partly a function of the changing tastes--the ebullience of the Elizabethan era (Fair Maid was performed as early as 1597-1603--Queen Elizabeth was probably still alive) versus the cynicism of the Restoration (The Plain Dealer was first performed in 1676). I vastly prefer Fair Maid, though it's hard to deny that The Plain Dealer is in many ways more sophisticated, if less successful.
This is a great play! Some of the themes are less than wonderful when analyzing the text, but if you aren't reading too deeply into it, then its easy to simply love sailing along with Bess on her journey as a bad ass woman existing in a liminal social state, empowering her to do things many women couldn't have done.
This edition of this play IS NOT TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL. It's been cleaned-up and dumbed down to make it palatable to some mid-90's British playgoers. It's by a contemporary of Shakespeare who wrote popular plays. Unless you're in to this particular time period, you probably wouldn't be interested in it. If you are, though, don't get this version. It sucks.