Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800

Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800

by Heidi Brayman Hackel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812240545

ISBN-13: 9780812240542

Pub. Date: 01/12/2008

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

In 1500, as many as 99 out of 100 English women may have been illiterate, and girls of all social backgrounds were the objects of purposeful efforts to restrict their access to full literacy. Three centuries later, more than half of all English and Anglo-American women could read, and the female reader was emerging as a cultural ideal and a market force. While

Overview

In 1500, as many as 99 out of 100 English women may have been illiterate, and girls of all social backgrounds were the objects of purposeful efforts to restrict their access to full literacy. Three centuries later, more than half of all English and Anglo-American women could read, and the female reader was emerging as a cultural ideal and a market force. While scholars have written extensively about women's reading in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and about women's writing in the early modern period, they have not attended sufficiently to the critical transformation that took place as female readers and their reading assumed significant cultural and economic power. Reading Women brings into conversation the latest scholarship by early modernists and early Americanists on the role of gender in the production and consumption of texts during this expansion of female readership. Drawing together historians and literary scholars, the essays share a concern with local specificity and material culture. Removing women from the historically inaccurate frame of exclusively solitary, silent reading, the authors collectively return their subjects to the activities that so often coincided with reading: shopping, sewing, talking, writing, performing, and collecting. With chapters on samplers, storytelling, testimony, and translation, the volume expands notions of reading and literacy, and it insists upon a rich and varied narrative that crosses disciplinary boundaries and national borders.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812240542
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date:
01/12/2008
Series:
Material Texts
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     ix
Introduction   Heidi Brayman Hackel   Catherine E. Kelly     1
Pleasures and Prohibitions     11
Inventing the Early Modern Woman Reader through the World of Goods: Lyly's Gentlewoman Reader and Katherine Stubbes   Mary Ellen Lamb     15
Engendering the Female Reader: Women's Recreational Reading of Shakespeare in Early Modern England   Sasha Roberts     36
Crafting Subjectivities: Women, Reading, and Self-Imagining   Mary Kelley     55
Practices and Accomplishment     73
"You sow, Ile read": Letters and Literacies in Early Modern Samplers   Bianca F.-C. Calabresi     79
The Female World of Classical Reading in Eighteenth-Century America   Caroline Winterer     105
Reading and the Problem of Accomplishment   Catherine E. Kelly     124
Translation and Authorship     145
"Who Painted the Lion?" Women and Novelle   Ian Frederick Moulton     151
The Word Made Flesh: Reading Women and the Bible   Janice Knight     169
"With All Due Reverence and Respect to the Word of God": Aphra Behn as Skeptical Reader of the Bible and Critical Translator of Fontenelle   Margaret Ferguson     199
Female Curiosities: TheTransatlantic Female Commonplace Book   Susan M. Stabile     217
Afterword     245
Reading Outside the Frame   Robert A. Gross     247
Notes on Contributors     255
Index     259
Acknowledgments     265

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >