ABSTRACT

For her nal dramatic work Cowley returned to mainpiece comedy, the genre with which she was most associated. Th e Town unites some of the recurring issues in her plays and represents the culmination of her experience as a dramatist. It is also a re ection on her own practice, for Cowley includes in the preface to the rst printed edition a manifesto of her theory of comedy and an explanation of her retirement from the theatre.3 She portrays a female creative artist in Lady Horatia Horton, a woman sculptor recognizable to the audience as based on Anne Seymour Damer, who exhibited thirty-two works at the Royal Academy.4 rough this character Cowley questions prevalent theories about sexual di erence in aesthetic and intellectual judgement and creativity.