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
Pt. 1 Contexts 1
1 Women and Education 3
2 Religion and the Construction of the Feminine 22
3 Women, Property and Law 40
4 Women and Work 58
5 Women and Writing 77
Pt. 2 Readings 95
6 Isabella Whitney, A Sweet Nosegay 97
7 Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, Psalmes 110
8 Aemilia Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum 125
9 Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam and History 136
10 Mary Wroth, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania 150
11 Margaret Cavendish, A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding and Life 165
12 Anna Trapnel, Anna Trapnel's Report and Plea 177
13 Katherine Philips, Poems 189
14 Aphra Behn, The Rover, Part One 203
15 Mary Astell, Critic of the Marriage Contract/Social Contract Analogue 216
Pt. 3 Genres 229
16 Autobiography 231
17 Defences of Women 248
18 Prophecy 264
19 Women's Poetry 1550-1700: 'Not Unfit to be Read' 282
20 Prose Fiction 303
21 Drama 317
Pt. 4 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
23 Feminist Historiography 361
Index 377
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