Wonder of a Woman, The

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Historical Records

Performance Records

Playlists in Philip Henslowe's diary


Fol. 13 (Greg I.25)


ye 15 of octobʒ 1595 . . . . . . . . . . ne . . Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . liijs
ye 23 of octobʒ 1595 Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiijs
ye 4 of novmbʒ 1595 Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvijs


Fol. 14 (Greg, I. 27)
ye 20 of novmbʒ 1595 Rd at wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxs
ye 4 of desembʒ 1595 Rd at wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiiijs
ye 25 of desembʒ 1595 S steuens day Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iijll ijs
ye 15 of Jenewary 1595 Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvijs


Fol. 14v (Greg, I. 28)
ye 30 of Jenewary 1595 . . . . mr pd . . . Rd at the wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xjs


Fol. 15v (Greg 1.30):
maye daye 1596 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rd at wonder of a womon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxijs



Theatrical Provenance

The Admiral's men gave "The Wonder of a Woman" nine performances at the Rose playhouse from October 1595 into May 1596 and returned an average of 29s to Philip Henslowe over the run.

Probable Genre(s)

Comedy? Harbage

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Information welcome.

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

Malone offers no comment on this play (p. 297); Collier, without much enthusiasm, notes that John Marston wrote a play with a similar title (The Wonder of Women, or Sophonisba her Tragedy, 1605) and that William Rowley wrote an even later play, A New Wonder, a Woman never vexed," which was printed in 1632 (p. 58, n1). Fleay, BCED made no connections between this play and others with similar titles (2.304 #173).

Greg II, unusually for him, makes connections between "The Wonder of a Woman" and the plays by Marston and Rowley that Collier and Fleay, BCED had resisted. He claims that "Marston borrowed his title" from the Admiral's play, supposing additionally that Marston's "subject may possibly have been the same." He picks up Fleay's comment on Thomas Middleton and Samuel Rowley's A new Wonder, or A Woman never vexe that it was "clearly altered from an old rhyming play," guessing that the Admiral's play "may have been the original version" (p. 177 #79).

Gurr cites "The Wonder of a Woman" as an example of the "curious financial histories" of some plays in Henslowe's lists of performances (p. 93). His interest in this particular case is the rapid fall-off of receipts from its debut and holiday performance to its returns at what appear its final two performances.

For What It's Worth



Works Cited




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