Susannah Centlivre, A Bold Stroke for a Wife

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The romantic comedy

A Bold Stroke for a Wife

(1718) is the eighteenth and penultimate play written by the prolific and successful dramatist Susanna Centlivre (1669–1723). It was first performed at Lincoln’s Inn Theatre on 3 February 1718 and ran for a respectable six performances, which brought Centlivre two third-night benefits. Along with

The Busy Body

(1709) and

The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret!


A Bold Stroke for a Wife

is among a cluster of Centlivre’s plays that enjoyed an enduring reputation and performance and publication history throughout the eighteenth century. According to Bowyer, it “was acted in London more than eighty times before 1750 and nearly a hundred and fifty times between 1750 and 1800” (216). In the 1740s, John Mottley claimed to have assisted in…

1938 words

Citation: Seager, Nicholas. "A Bold Stroke for a Wife". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 October 2022 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

7267 A Bold Stroke for a Wife 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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