There was a time when not only Joanna Baillie's drama, but British Romantic drama altogether was seen as a dismal subject, a forsaken byroad of literary history, one best left untraveled. Among the few scholarly studies to explore this unlikely terrain, the most successful were those that took a dour or even morbid approach, as titles like The Death of Tragedy (Steiner 1961) and The Deserted Stage (Otten 1972) attest. The dismissive label “closet drama” lent an aura of futility or generic perversity to the works of those who, like Baillie, wished to write for the stage but felt alienated from it, as well as those who, like Byron in Cain or Shelley in Prometheus Unbound, wrote deliberately (and radically) unstageable poetic dramas. That many regarded Prometheus Unbound as one of the great examples of British Romanticism somehow failed to disturb the consensus that Romantic drama did not merit serious attention. Those who wished to challenge the critical status quo, however, could begin from the very contradiction between viewing works like Manfred, Cain, The Cenci, Prometheus Unbound, and (sometimes) The Borderers and Death's Jest-Book as considerable works of poetry, while condemning the category to which they all belonged — Romantic verse drama — to third-rate status.