Nearly thirty years after A Woman Killed with Kindness was performed on the public stage, the private Blackfriars Theatre produced John Ford’s The Broken Heart, which likewise includes a female character who refuses food because she feels she has sexually betrayed her lawful husband. However, the political nature of female food refusal in The Broken Heart differs in a substantial way from its presentation in Heywood’s play. As I pointed out in the previous chapter, the revolutionary consequences of Anne’s choice for self-starvation were unclear-to Anne herself, to Heywood (by extension), and to his audience. Further, the religious paradigm underlying A Woman Killed has topical meaning related to the activities of a particular Puritan minister and his battles with established religious authority. The topicality of female food refusal in The Broken Heart is more allusive than it is in A Woman Killed with Kindness,1 but its incidence in the play is markedly more disruptive of the political and social order than it is in the earlier play: Penthea, the central female figure, appears to deliberately choose her fate, thus suggesting that female food refusal, as it is politically and socially contextualized in The Broken Heart and in contrast to its depiction in A Woman Killed, is overtly exemplified as a transgressive undertaking.2 Further, Penthea takes the lead in arranging the marriage of her brother and his beloved, not only violating the sex-gender system in place in the world of the play, but also exhibiting a female agency not possible in Anne Frankford’s world.