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Teaching Romanticism XXXII: Drama, part 8

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As part of this ongoing series on Teaching Romanticism we will consider the ways in which we lecture on and discuss individual authors, whether during author-specific modules or broader period surveys. I thought it would be particularly useful to hear about which texts educators use and in what context, whether they place certain poems or prose works against those of other writers, or use contemporary or modern theoretical texts, or something else entirely. For this strand of blog posts I invite academics across the world to share their advice and tips on any aspect that interests them about teaching Romanticism. Many thanks to all of those who answered my call through NASSR-L, The BARS Review, and elsewhere (lightly edited samples are reproduced below with permission of the authors). Please do feel free to contact me with proposals for future subjects. We will be considering a range of writers, canonical and non-canonical alike, in the coming months. This eight-part issue was edited by Dana Van Kooy.


Dana Van Kooy (Michigan Technological University): Teaching George Colman the Younger’s Inkle and Yarico: Theatrical Adaptation and the Changing Cultural Landscape of the New World

 

Abstract: This essay invites us to think more about how and why we might include theatrical adaptations on our syllabi. Theatrical adaptations often represent some of the most popular theatrical performances because they capitalize–quite literally–on the proven popularity of another text. Examining how the adaptation adheres to and differs from its “original” helps us open discussions about authorship, cultural capital, the theatre and drama as cultural nexus points, and the shifting cultural landscape that adaptations make more visible.

 

This essay collection makes clear that the critical emphasis in the study of Romantic drama is oriented increasingly toward visual culture, performance theory, and the local and global movements of people, capital, ideas, and objects. Several essays have focused on the intersections between visual culture and performance culture. In this essay, I consider the wide range of theatrical adaptations produced in the Romantic period through the singular lens of George Colman the Younger’s 1787 theatrical adaptation of Richard Steele’s short story, Inkle and Yarico, first published in the Spectator No. 11 (13 March 1711). Colman’s comic opera reformulated and repurposed Steele’s story, destabilizing Steele’s and the Spectator’s longstanding cultural authority as well as inaugurating a definitive genre shift that modified the story’s social and political purposes and redirected its literary history. As Daniel O’Quinn has observed, Colman’s drama was part of a larger cultural project of rewriting colonial history. This “updated” version of colonial history registered the re-calibration of colonial relations between the Americas and the Caribbean following the American Revolution while it also reflected on how “the governance of colonial space [had shifted] from the hands of commercial bodies to the more direct rule of the State and its military apparatus.”[1] Colman’s drama staged the emergence of a new vision British imperialism that would shape nineteenth century attitudes about sex, gender, class, race, colonial governance, miscegenation, morality, and the global marriage market.

When I teach Colman’s comic opera to undergraduate and graduate students, I am concerned with conveying how the drama stages the Atlantic world as a colonized landscape and how it does so through exotic spectacles. To help students more fully appreciate this performance, it is important for them to understand the basic story, the fact that the narrative was subject to myriad adaptations and translations, and that Colman transformed Steele’s story substantively. I also encourage students to think about how both Steele’s and Colman’s plots interweave contemporary and historical events with culturally-generated imperial fantasies of national dominance, which often highlighted society’s changing infatuation with and critique of viewing and procuring sumptuous wealth. Steele and Colman wrote about Britain as a global empire and both writers were aware of how such an empire integrates and isolates disparate peoples and places into networks of sociality, militarized power, and commercial trade. Reading Steele’s short story in conjunction with Colman’s drama, students can begin to identify and trace the evolution of some of these networks and cross-cultural exchanges. While this task is not easy, students begin to recognize the changing complexities of colonial interactions over time and how literary and theatrical texts both created and reflected the cultural re-workings of colonial and imperial ideologies.

The story of Inkle and Yarico dates back to Richard Ligon’s A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (1657). Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was adapted to many genres, including poetry, tragedy, musical entertainment, and pastoral drama.[2] Frank Felsenstein describes “Inkle and Yarico” as “among the most popular and widely retold [stories] within its country of origin, Great Britain, as well as elsewhere across Europe and into North America.” Conservatively, the number of extant versions and translations reaches over sixty and spans ten European languages.[3] The most famous of these is the short story that Steele wrote and published in the Spectator No. 11, a journal he founded with Joseph Addison. Steele could not have foreseen that his version would become a definitive story about the New World or that it would be adapted for the stage by one of Britain’s most popular playwrights, George Colman the Younger (1762-1836) as Inkle and Yarico: An Opera, in Three Acts. First performed at the Haymarket Royal Theatre on 4 August 1787, Colman’s Inkle and Yarico proved to have tremendous box-office appeal. The comic opera was performed at least 164 times on London’s stages between 1787 and 1800. Only Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (Drury Lane, 1777) was more popular in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.[4]

When teaching Colman’s drama, I often use Frank Felsenstein’s edited version of the play in his Inkle and Yarico reader, English Trader, Indian Maid. Felsenstein provides helpful footnotes, and I pair this play with Steele’s short story in the Spectator, which is also reprinted in Felsenstein’s text and is accessible in many anthologies. Regardless of the edition, Steele’s version is only a few pages in length, so I ask students to read Steele and to start reading Colman’s drama, with the intention of covering both within a week or a week and a half. Initially, I provide a quick contextual overview of the Spectator, its purpose, and its influence. The Spectator’s vital cultural role stems from Addison and Steele’s efforts to produce a journal whose purpose was to form and regulate fashion, literary and aesthetic taste, and to produce a shared “English” consciousness and conscience. Both writers looked to the annals of history and particularly to the classics to provide their readers with models they could adopt and follow. This ambitious commitment to social and cultural reform was nonetheless short-lived. The Spectator’s circulation was modest by today’s standards. Roughly 3000 copies were distributed daily for year, but these numbers account for only a fraction of its influence. The paper’s target audiences were women and the middle-class household, and most people who encountered its pages were not subscribers or literate, and quite possibly they were not born at the time of its initial publication. Because the Spectator was so popular, its volumes were bound and published repeatedly in subsequent years. The widespread availability of this story in the Spectator, even long after its first appearance in print, makes it a valuable focal point for studying the historical and cultural construction of British consciousness in the period.

The plot of Steele’s “Inkle and Yarico” features Inkle, a young English merchant who is rescued by Yarico, an indigenous woman who saves and protects him after a violent encounter with native warriors. The two characters fall in love, and Inkle promises to take her with him back to England. When they are rescued by a passing ship and arrive in Barbados, Inkle sells Yarico to recoup what he perceives to be his losses in time and money. After she pleads with him that she is pregnant with their child, he increases his asking price and sells her and his unborn child. There is very little that is either appealing or heroic about Inkle. Steele also incorporates a frame narrative, which features the storyteller character, Arietta, who narrates the story of “Inkle and Yarico” as a counter-narrative to her anonymous male visitor’s rendition of Petronius’ Ephesian Matron, a classical story about an unfaithful wife. “Inkle and Yarico” is Arietta’s feminist riposte to her visitor’s misogynist tale.

Published at the dawn of Britain’s imperial age, Steele’s narrative is a tale about mercantile greed and a parable about ingratitude. It highlights the precarious lives of women throughout the eighteenth century and features several allusions to classical texts. Readers tend to gloss over these allusions unless they are well versed in the classics. Nicole Horejsi offers a detailed account of Steele’s many classical allusions, many of which identify women as either pawns and/or necessary sacrifices to the larger imperial project. She also suggests that Steele’s deployment of classical allusions criticize the traditional English gentleman’s classical education as promulgating a “dangerous and unsuitable masculinity that embodies values diametrically opposed to those defended by Addison in Spectator, [No.] 10 and antithetical to the Spectator project at large.”[5] Arietta’s choice to contest her guest’s classics-based misogyny with a story taken from Ligon’s A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados implies that history—more than the classics—represents the preferred and alternative means of instructing and reforming English society.

Another key element in Steele’s narrative is the gendered dynamics between Inkle and Yarico. Inkle does not escape the warriors by means of his wit, strength, or cunning; instead, Yarico saves him. Moreover, she chooses to save him because she finds him physically attractive. While intriguing and suggestive, and worth an extended classroom discussion, this gendered reversal is flipped fairly quickly. Inkle is “surprize[d]” by a “naked American.” Steele eroticizes Yarico’s body with this statement while also setting up a metonymic relationship between her indigenous female body and the American landscape. Readers can see this most clearly in the scene where Steele describes Yarico’s cave. Yarico offers and provides Inkle with what many native populations made available or were forced to make available to colonists and European traders: food, water, the beautiful crafts and clothing that Yarico wears and showcases for Inkle, and “a great many spoils, which her other lovers had presented to her; so that his cave was richly adorned with all the spotted skins of beasts, and most party-coloured feathers of fowls, which that world afforded” (87). When teaching, I often identify this scene as an early form of “window shopping,” where the wares of the New World were put on display for English readers, especially those middle and upper-class consumers who would be most interested in viewing and purchasing products from the New World. This association between Yarico and the commodities and resources she makes available to Inkle proves her undoing because it provides Inkle—and English readers—with a means of transforming people into commodities.

In Steele’s “Inkle and Yarico,” the character of Inkle demonstrates how the modern English gentleman should not act at home or abroad. The story’s complex interweaving of classical allusions and history produce a short story wherein the aristocratic fop and the overly ambitious merchant are rendered public outcasts. If more time is made for discussion, classes could also examine Steele’s adaptation of the “cit” or citizen character from eighteenth-century comedy to portray Inkle and his adaptation of the plot characteristics of she-tragedy to depict Yarico. These elements highlight the cultural interplay between print and performance texts in the eighteenth century, and when addressed more fully, they reveal the limits to the Spectator’s project of fostering sociability, forming a national consciousness, and educating public taste. It also makes clear that misogyny has been a masculine behaviour cultivated in the classroom and reinforced in theatrical performances.[6]

Colman was one of the period’s most prolific playwrights; he managed the Haymarket from 1789 to 1817—a position he inherited from his father—and in 1824 until his death, he was the Lord Chamberlain’s examiner of plays, effectively, the government’s censor of theatrical performances. Colman penned many plays, including, The Female Dramatist (1782), Two to One (1784), Turk and no Turk (1785), The Iron Chest (1796)—an adaptation of William Godwin’s novel, Adventures of Caleb Williams; or Things as they Are (1793)—John Bull, or an Englishman’s Fireside (1803), and the melodrama, The Africans; or, War, Love, and Duty (1808). Colman’s savvy in adapting Steele’s story to the stage allowed him to capitalize on the Spectator’s and the tale’s popularity while revising the story significantly to reflect the shifting conceptions of British identity, Britain’s role in the Atlantic, changing attitudes about interracial relationships, commodification, and Britain’s relationship with its imperial forebears, particularly classical Rome. Staged seventy-six years after the story’s climacteric publication in Spectator, Colman’s comic opera re-structures Steele’s plot, highlighting marriage and more possibilities for reconciliation and social union. Colman expands Steele’s plot, integrating two additional love pairings: the servants and companions to Inkle and Yarico, Trudge and Wowski, and a more complex triangulation of Inkle’s sexual and commercial desires and interests with the introduction of Narcissa and Captain Campley. In creating these additional characters and plot twists, Colman portrays Britain’s evolving and increasingly conflicted romance with the Americas and slavery. Making the story a comedy insures a happy ending and a final scene of social union.

The initial performance of  Inkle and Yarico in 1787 marks a critical moment in Britain’s abolition movement. In 1787 the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed, and Thomas Clarkson’s pamphlet, A Summary View of the Slave Trade and of the Possible Consequences of Its Abolition was published. As Julie Carlson notes, Inkle and Yarico and Colman’s The Africans (1807), which was performed in the wake of Britain’s Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807), “explore the connection between slavery, capitalism and British identity, offering the most systemic dramatic account of Britain’s investment in slavery.”[7] But, as Mita Choudhury observes, Colman’s abolitionist message “engages with the weighty subject of slavery without actually confronting its problematic premise.”[8] Inkle and Yarico, in Carlson’s words, “leaves slavery essentially unchallenged” in its Spectator-influenced conclusion, which maintains, “‘true’ British subjects know the difference between love and profit.”[9] Inkle and Yarico did little for the cause of slavery; however, it “provided the archetypal plot for melodramas on slavery and a road map for the sites and sights of slavery.”[10] Colman’s comic opera, like the nineteenth-century melodramas, stages social and racialized differences through a series of spectacles. Its ethnographic focus, which is common in many early modern plays, portrays colonial lands as exotic while it also makes the performance autoethnographic.[11] Theatrical performances in Britain and in the colonies were the primary means through which people, as individuals and as a nation, made sense of themselves. As Kathleen Wilson observes, “‘acting British’ meant getting up a play,” and drama familiarized “audiences with emergent typologies of gender, race, class, and nation, socializing British people into recognizing difference, especially the historical difference and distinctiveness of the English nation.”[12]

Colman’s Inkle and Yarico highlights several late eighteenth-century changes in the relations between England and the various peoples living throughout the Atlantic world. Due to England’s loss of the American colonies, the geographical scale of the colonies was no longer Continent sized. Colman’s play begins on the shores of North America but its focus is quickly shifted and limited to a distinct island in the Caribbean, Barbados. The drama also reflects how the British colonial project has redefined eighteenth-century mercantile capitalism and become a more militant and aggressive form of imperial capitalism. Inkle is portrayed in the first scene reiterating his father’s mercantile ethos for his uncle: “Travelling, uncle, was always intended for improvement; and improvement is an advantage; and advantage is profit, and profit is gain” (1.1; 177). But, the “black legs” he examines and counts are trees that can be harvested. A few lines later he also considers, “if so many natives could be caught, how much they might fetch at the West Indian markets.” His uncle censures him, referring to him as a “young cannibal catcher,” and reminds him that the chief purpose of this trip to Barbados “is to carry home the daughter of the governor, Sir Christopher Curry, who has till now been under your father’s care, in Threadneedle-street for polite English education” (1.1; 177). The uncle’s emphasis on the arranged marriage between Inkle and Narcissa, Curry’s daughter, attests to the paramount relevance of marriage over trade as a means of increasing Inkle’s (and his family’s) financial and political prospects.

The addition of Sir Christopher Curry as a character demonstrates, as Daniel O’Quinn points out, the presence of the British imperial state in the colonies and the metropole’s sharpened scrutiny of its administrators.[13] It is relevant to remember that Warren Hastings (1732-1818), the governor-general of British India, and the East India Company had been under investigation by Parliament since the early 1780s, and that the Hastings impeachment trial was due to begin at Westminster Hall in February 1788. The “show” would feature the MPs, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Colman’s fellow playwright and the owner of the Drury Lane theatre) and Edmund Burke, and prove to be one of Britain’s most dramatic political performances in the period.

When Inkle’s ship arrives in Barbados, it becomes clear how New World markets have changed since 1711 when Steele penned his story. Anticipating the arrival of a new ship, the Planters express very little interest in the recent arrival of the Governor’s daughter, Narcissa; they deem her as cargo, to be sure, but she and her fellow passengers are nothing more than “a parcel of lazy, idle, white folks [who] will never do for our trade” (2.1; 192). Slaves are the only cargo they deem significant. Sir Christopher Curry, on the other hand, is clearly invested in the marriage market. When speaking with Medium, Inkle’s uncle, he insists that Inkle and Narcissa “shall be married slap-dash, as soon as he comes from the quay” (2.1; 207).

Curry’s power appears to be limited to his ability to control his daughter and her marriage prospects, but even in this, his will is thwarted. He is a man ruled by his passions, which in turn are, he admits, subject to the weather and, more specifically, the heat of the West Indies (2.1; 207). The environment, the governor affirms, trumps education, history, even nationality in the formation of an individual’s character. The only British character trait not affected by the weather is their collective love of liberty. Curry, ironically, articulates the play’s diluted abolitionist message while negotiating with Inkle to buy Yarico as a servant for his daughter:

Look ye, young man; I love to be plain: I shall treat her a good deal better than you would, I fancy; for though I witness this custom every day, I can’t help thinking the only excuse for buying our fellow creatures, is to rescue ’em from the hands of those who are unfeeling enough to bring ’em to market.” (3.3; 221)

Curry protests against what he, following Arietta and Mr. Spectator, views as Inkle’s mercenary mercantilism that thrives more than ever in the Atlantic markets for slaves. Curry’s intervention on behalf of Yarico is hypocritical, if not wholly disingenuous, as becomes clear when he displays his somewhat incestuously laden sexual attraction for her, telling Inkle, “I’ll cherish her like my own daughter; and pour balm into the heart of a poor, innocent girl, that has been wounded by the artifices of a scoundrel” (3.3; 225). He further chastises Inkle, exclaiming, “An Englishman! more shame for you! Let Englishmen blush at such practices. Men, who so fully feel the blessings of liberty, are doubly cruel in depriving the helpless of their freedom” (3.3; 221). But Curry is not much different than Inkle at this juncture; he is more than willing to “save” Yarico from Inkle, but her status, as both a mistress and a commodity, will only be reaffirmed in this financial transaction. If anything, life will be worse for Yarico. She is caught between the desiring gazes of merchant and a governor. By extension, Yarico’s servant is in no better position, despite Trudge’s professed love for Wowski. Both characters could be brought to auction, the “black fair” (2.1; 201), at a moment’s notice.

Inkle’s reform is demonstrated when he renounces his father’s mercantile values and acknowledges that he must change his perspective. This scene marks a significant change in the merchant’s social status in the late eighteenth-century: linking Inkle further with the “cit” character in its earlier, more satiric formulations in Restoration comedy. The comedy brings Inkle back into the fold, but at a significant cost in social and cultural capital. His desire for Yarico, like Trudge’s for Wowski, will be tolerated only in the colonies and only while they remain there. The only couple free to travel between the colonies and London is Narcissa and Captain Campley, whose marriage exemplifies the more intimate relationship between the colonial government and the imperial military forces. The colonial government’s historical ineffectiveness, due arguably to the merchant’s financial influence, is now countermanded by the brute force of its military.

Colman’s Inkle and Yarico brings into sharp focus Britain’s late eighteenth-century colonial landscape. The Plantocracy, absent in Steele’s story, emerges fully in Colman’s tragedy. Inkle and Yarico dramatizes the social and political organization of the colonial plantation with its emphasis on class and racialized differences. Colonial space too has transformed, effectively shrinking from Continent-sized swathes of land to islands with far fewer resources and more isolated by the abolition of the slave trade and by the interplay of military interests, which cordon off the islands and their inhabitants. The geography of slavery also becomes more distinct. Plantation logic reconfigures social and familial bonds in the colonies where people are “planted” more or less on a permanent basis. Cultural mobility is limited severely by the racially-motivated divisions of land and a social order that develops within the violent and dehumanizing system of plantation slavery. Colman’s play thus restores “domestic and national order”[14] in the midst of imperial and colonial fragmentation.

Although Colman revitalized Steele’s story of “Inkle and Yarico” by adapting it to the stage, the main plot continued to evolve. During the enormously successful first season, John Bannister, the popular actor who first performed Inkle, transformed him from Steele’s rather mercenary character into someone who could and would be reformed. The first London edition of the play published in 1787, Jean I. Marsden writes, “includes inverted commas to indicate portions of the play omitted on the stage.”[15] Subsequent performances added songs to the script and altered the text further, as Marsden’s account demonstrates, softening Inkle’s character and making him express more feeling toward Yarico. Arguably, this increased emphasis on Inkle’s expression of sentiment and feeling represents attempts to make the connection between English traders and slavery less visible. This reflects another social development, namely, that the English gentleman and the merchant begin to be less distinguishable with regard to their material wealth. The early eighteenth-century cit’s characteristic ambition and his desire for profit and “improvement” continue to elicit censure—as we see in Steele’s and Colman’s text—but as becomes clear in Inkle and Yarico and its many subsequent performances, these characteristics are also portrayed in a more positive light. Over the course of a century the “cit” character morphs from a victim to a heroic figure, but not without occasional reversals to elevate and justify the nobility’s power. Both Steele and Colman criticize Inkle’s education, which instills him with “an early love of gain, by making him a perfect master of numbers” (Steele, 87). But, in both cases, this criticism is counterbalanced by portraying a favorable disposition toward the Inkle’s motivation “to improve his fortune by trade and merchandize” (Steele, 86).

Classroom discussions of Colman’s adaptation of Steele’s “Inkle and Yarico” story help students more fully trace the early modern cross-cultural exchanges that structure Romantic-period drama: the historical interplay between the page and the stage; the relevance of theatrical spectacles in portraying racialized, class, and gender differences; and the performativity or emplotment of misogyny and racism into the variant spaces of cultural production. As we look for ways of delineating more clearly to our students the relevance of Romantic-period drama, the complexities of literary history, and its reflections of colonial history in the Americas, directing attention to theatrical adaptations of short stories, poems, and novels, can help students more fully understand how writers capitalized on the reproduction of familiar stories and employed them to comment—positively and negatively—on the contemporary moment.

 

Bibliography

Butler, Judith. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” Theatre Journal 40.4 (December, 1988): 519-531.

Carlson, Julie. “Race and profit in English theatre.” In The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre: 1730-1830.  Edited by Jane Moody and Daniel O’Quinn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 175-88.

Cox, Jeffrey N., ed. Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation: Writings in the Romantic Period, vol. V: Drama. London: Pickering and Chatto, 1999.

— and Dana Van Kooy. “Melodramatic Slaves.” Modern Drama 55.4 (Winter 2012): 459-75.

Felsenstein, Frank, ed. English Trader, Indian Maid: Representing Gender, Race, and Slavery in the New World: An Inkle and Yarico Reader. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

—. “The Faces of Inkle and Yarico.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre. Edited by Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 688-92.

Horejsi, Nicole. “‘A Counterpart to the Ephesian Matron’: Steele’s ‘Inkle and Yarico and a Feminist Critique of the Classics.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 39.2 (Winter 2006): 201-26.

Marsden, Jean I. “The Problem with Inkle: A Study in Performance.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre. Edited by Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 692-96.

O’Quinn, Daniel. “Mercantile Deformities: George Colman’s Inkle and Yarico and the Racialization of Class Relations.” Theatre Journal 54.3 (October, 2002): 389-409.

—. Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Swindells, Julia and David Francis Taylor, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Wilson, Kathleen. “Rowe’s Fair Penitent as Global History: or, A Diversionary Voyage to New South Wales.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 41.2 (2008): 231-51.

 

Footnotes

[1] Daniel O’Quinn makes this point at the beginning of “Mercantile Deformities: George Colman’s Inkle and Yarico and the Racialization of Class Relations,” Theatre Journal 54.3 (October 2002): 392.

[2] Frank Felsenstein has edited a collection of many of the extant versions in English Trader, Indian Maid: Representing Gender, Race, and Slavery in the New World: An Inkle and Yarico Reader (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). Weddel’s 1742 tragedy has been reprinted in Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation: Writings in the Romantic Period, vol. V: Drama, ed. Jeffrey N. Cox (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1999).

[3] Frank Felsenstein, “Introduction,” in English Trader, Indian Maid, 1, 1-2. I cite Felsenstein’s editions of Steele’s story and Colman’s play. Because the play text has no line numbers, I will use the notation: act.scene; page number.

[4] Frank Felsenstein, “The Faces of Inkle and Yarico,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, eds., Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 689.

[5] Horejsi, “‘A Counterpart to the Ephesian Matron,’” 206.

[6] Judith Butler’s “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory” could be worked into the discussions of more advanced courses at this juncture.

[7] Julie Carlson, “Race and profit in English theatre,” in The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre: 1730-1830, eds., Jane Moody and Daniel O’Quinn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 181.

[8] Mita Choudhury, “The Paradox of Empire in Inkle and Yarico,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, eds., Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 696-697.

[9] Carlson, “Race and profit in English theatre,” 182.

[10] Jeffrey N. Cox and I discuss Colman’s play as a proto-melodrama and in terms of its representation of the sights and sites of slavery in “Melodramatic Slaves,” Modern Drama 55.4 (Winter 2012): 462.

[11] Daniel O’Quinn makes this point in Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).

[12] Kathleen Wilson, “Rowe’s Fair Penitent as Global History: or, A Diversionary Voyage to New South Wales,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 41.2 (2008), 233, 232.

[13] Daniel O’Quinn, “Mercantile Deformities: George Colman’s Inkle and Yarico and the Racialization of Class Relations,” Theatre Journal 54.3 (October, 2002), 392.

[14] Van Kooy and Cox, “Melodramatic Slaves,” 463.

[15] Jean I. Marsden, “The Problem with Inkle: A Study in Performance,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, eds., Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 694.


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