A Companion to Early Modern Women's Writing / Edition 1

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This timely volume represents one of the first comprehensive, student-oriented guides to the under-published field of early modern women's writing.

  • Brings together more than twenty leading international scholars to provide the definitive survey volume to the field of early modern women's writing
  • Examines individual texts, including works by Mary Sidney, Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn
  • Explores the historical context and generic diversity of early modern women's writing, as well as the theoretical issues that underpin its study
  • Provides a clear sense of the full extent of women's contributions to early modern literary culture
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pacheco (humanities, Univ. of Hertfordshire) has produced a much-needed collection that puts into historical and literary perspective the study of early modern women and their writings. [...] In scholarship and critical depth, this volume compares favourably to the many recent publications on early modern women; what makes it particularly useful is its accessibility to students just becoming acquainted with the field."

"This is a worthwhile and well-produced volume ... [it] would make an excellent core text for students on courses on early modern women's writing or gender studies[.]"
English Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anita Pacheco is a Lecturer in the English Department at the Open University. She has written extensively on Aphra Behn and early modern drama and is the author of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (2007) in the Writers and their Work series. She is the editor of Early Women Writers 1600–1720 (1998) and joint editor (with John Stachniewski) of John Bunyan: Grace Abounding with Other Spiritual Autobiographies (1998).

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors x

Introduction xiv

PART ONE Contexts 1

1 Women and Education 3
Kenneth Charlton

2 Religion and the Construction of the Feminine 22
Diane Willen

3 Women, Property and Law 40
Tim Stretton

4 Women and Work 58
Sara H. Mendelson

5 Women and Writing 77
Margaret J. M. Ezell

PART TWO Readings 95

6 Isabella Whitney, A Sweet Nosegay 97
Patricia Brace

7 Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, Psalmes 110
Debra K. Rienstra

8 Aemilia Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum 125
Susanne Woods

9 Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam and History 136
Elaine Beilin

10 Mary Wroth, The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania 150
Naomi J. Miller

11 Margaret Cavendish, A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding and Life 165
Gweno Williams

12 Anna Trapnel, Anna Trapnel’s Report and Plea 177
Hilary Hinds

13 Katherine Philips, Poems 189
Elizabeth H. Hageman

14 Aphra Behn, The Rover, Part One 203
Anita Pacheco

15 Mary Astell, Critic of the Marriage Contract/Social Contract Analogue 216
Patricia Springborg

PART THREE Genres 229

16 Autobiography 231
Sheila Ottway

17 Defences of Women 248
Frances Teague and Rebecca De Haas

18 Prophecy 264
Elaine Hobby

19 Women’s Poetry 1550–1700: ‘Not Unfit to be Read’ 282
Bronwen Price

20 Prose Fiction 303
Paul Salzman

21 Drama 317
Sophie Tomlinson

PART FOUR Issues and Debates 337

22 The Work of Women in the Age of Electronic Reproduction: The Canon, Early Modern Women Writers and the Postmodern Reader 339
Melinda Alliker Rabb

23 Feminist Historiography 361
Margo Hendricks

Index 377

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