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Autumnal Faces

Old Age in British and Irish Dramatic Narratives

Edited By Katarzyna Bronk

Autumnal Faces is a timely study within the ever-growing research on the ways older people and ageing itself have been conceptualized and represented in the popular imagination and, more specifically, in drama and on stage. Tracing this theme from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this volume offers original, innovative and diachronic analyses of plays and performances that focus on or are peopled with older characters. The contributors study the roots of positive and negative stereotypes pertaining to senescence and the elderly, offering meticulous interpretations of dramatic narratives and performances on topics such as gendered ageing, geronticide, the «sins» of senex amans and iratus, ageing and uncontrolled passions versus ageing and prudence, longevity and immortality, memory and life narratives, the elderly as storytellers and repositories of wisdom in British and Irish culture, Alzheimer’s disease and the loss of self, and intergenerational conflicts. Ultimately, this collection of essays answers the ongoing call for more studies devoted to humanistic/cultural gerontology, seeing old age not just as an issue affecting past generations but one that is increasingly important as we all age into an unknown future.

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Notes on Contributors


STELLA ACHILLEOS is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Studies at the University of Cyprus. Her research interests lie in the field of early modern studies, focusing in particular on the production and transmission of literary texts in relation to social and political contexts. She has published a number of essays on seventeenth-century poetry, sociability and cultural exchange (with a special focus on Ben Jonson and his ‘sons’), as well as on the discourses and practices of friendship, and the representation of old age and ageing in early modern England. Her current research further extends to early modern utopias, concentrating especially on utopian writings produced during the English Revolution.

SIMON BACON is an independent scholar based in Poznan, Poland. He has co-edited books on Undead Memory: Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture (Peter Lang, 2014), Seductive Concepts: Perspectives on Sins, Vices and Virtues (2014) and an edited collection Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2015). His monograph, titled Becoming Vampire: Difference and the Vampire in Popular Culture, was published in 2016.

KATARZYNA BRONK is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She has been teaching the history of English literature, but specializes in English theatre and drama. She has been researching and publishing on various texts/manuals of conduct and the literary methods of socializing/controlling women. In 2015 she was awarded a research grant from the National Science Centre in...

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