Cures for Chance: Adoptive Relations in Shakespeare and Middleton

Client: University of Toronto Press (2021)

Project: Cures for Chance: Adoptive Relations in Shakespeare and Middleton by Erin Ellerbeck

Adoption allows families to modify, either overtly or covertly, what is considered to be the natural order. Cures for Chance explores how early modern English theatre questioned the inevitability of the biological family and proposed new models of familial structure, financial inheritance, and gendered familial authority. Because the practice of adoption circumvents sexual reproduction, its portrayal obliges audiences to reconsider ideas of nature and kinship.

This study elucidates the ways in which adoptive familial relations were defined, described, and envisioned on stage, particularly in the works of Shakespeare and Middleton. Erin Ellerbeck argues that dramatic representations of adoption test conventional notions of family by rendering the family unit a social construction rather than a biological certainty, and that in doing so, they evoke the alteration of nature by human hands that was already pervasive at the time.

Service: TEC copy edited the manuscript for U of Toronto Press style in usage, punctuation, and spelling; corrected grammar errors; edited in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliography; and styled a number of primary source excerpts. Following the author’s review of the edited text, we finalized all changes in the manuscript in preparation for production. We checked the final PDFs and edited and proofed the index.