This collection is the first book-length study of the writings and influence of Elizabeth Cary, author of the first original play by a woman to be printed in English, The Tragedy of Mariam (1613). While previous criticism has focused most exclusively on The Tragedie of Mariam and The History of Edward II, the essays in this volume broaden our understanding of Cary as a writer by incorporating critical and historical analyses of her forays into other genres as well. Always mindful of the literary, political, and religious backdrop of early Stuart England, the essays explore the extent of her engagement in both the print and manuscript worlds of early modern England. The essays address crucial questions about authorship, form, and reception and avoid generalizations about gender that would smooth over her consistently ambiguous portrayals of male and female figures and her complicated appropriations of typically ?male? genres.