The Countess of Pembroke

Mary SidneyIf I could save two of my books from a conflagration, one of them would be Persuasion by Jane Austen. One of the greatest novelists of the 19C and an unsurpassed prose stylist and satirist. Although Austen used her own name, there are numerous instances of famous women novelists writing under a pseudonym throughout the history of the novel, many at the top of the tree in whichever category you want to assess them.

Why are there no women playwrights in the theatre explosion at the end of the 16C? With a woman on the throne,  one of Europe's greatest intellectuals to boot, there should be a good candidate amongst creative Elizabethan women. And there is.