Genre and Women's Life Writing in Early Modern Englandby Michelle M. Dowd, Laura Knoppers
Pub. Date: 05/03/2007
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
By taking account of the ways in which early modern women made use of formal and generic structures to constitute themselves in writing, the essays collected here interrogate the discursive contours of gendered identity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. The contributors explore how generic choice, mixture, and revision influence narrative constructions of the female self in early modern England. Collectively they situate women's life writings within the broader textual culture of early modern England while maintaining a focus on the particular rhetorical devices and narrative structures that comprise individual texts. Reconsidering women's life writing in light of recent critical trends-most notably historical formalism-this volume produces both new readings of early modern texts (such as Margaret Cavendish's autobiography and the diary of Anne Clifford) and a new understanding of the complex relationships between literary forms and early modern women's 'selves'. This volume engages with new critical methods to make innovative connections between canonical and non-canonical writing; in so doing, it helps to shape the future of scholarship on early modern women.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction, Michelle M. Dowd and Julie A. Eckerle; 'Free and easy as ones discourse'?: genre and self-expression in the poems and letters of early modern Englishwomen, Helen Wilcox; Domestic papers: manuscript culture and early modern women's life writing, Margaret Ezell; 'Many hands hands': writing the self in early modern women's recipe books, Catherine Field; Serial identity: history, gender, and form in the diary writing of Lady Anne Clifford, Megan Matchinske; Merging the secular and the spiritual in Lady Anne Halkett's Memoirs, Mary Ellen Lamb; Prefacing texts, authorizing authors, and constructing selves: the preface as autobiographical space, Julie A. Eckerle; Structures of piety in Elizabeth Richardson's Legacie, Michelle M. Dowd; Intersubjectivity, intertextuality, and form in the self-writings of Margaret Cavendish, Elspeth Graham; Margaret Cavendish's domestic experiment, Lara Dodds; 'That all the world may know': women's 'defense-narratives' and the early novel, Josephine Donovan; Bibliography; Index.
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