14 March 1743 – 11 March 1809
An English dramatist and poet. Cowley’s plays and poetry did not enjoy wide popularity after the nineteenth century, but she was one of the foremost playwrights of the late eighteenth century. According to Melinda Finberg Cowley’s “skill in writing fluid, sparkling dialogue and creating sprightly, memorable comic characters compares favourably with her better-known contemporaries, Goldsmith and Sheridan.” Cowley’s plays were produced frequently during her lifetime. Their themes, including her first play, The Runaway (1776), and her major hit, The Belle’s Stratagem (1780), revolve around marriage and how women strive to overcome the injustices imposed by family life and social custom.
Which is the Man? (pdf)