The Birth of Feminism: Woman as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $37.24
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 35%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $37.24   
  • New (4) from $55.30   
  • Used (4) from $37.24   

Overview

In this illuminating work, surveying 300 years and two nations, Sarah Gwyneth Ross demonstrates how the expanding ranks of learned women in the Renaissance era presented the first significant challenge to the traditional definition of “woman” in the West.

An experiment in collective biography and intellectual history, The Birth of Feminism focuses on nineteen learned women from the middle ranks of society who rose to prominence in the world of Italian and English letters between 1400 and 1680. Drawing both on archival material—wills, letters, and manuscript compositions, some presented here for the first time—and on printed writings, Ross gives us an unprecedented sense of educated early modern women’s lives.

Sponsored and often educated by their learned fathers and other male relatives within a model that Ross terms “the intellectual family,” female authors publicized their works within the safety of family networks. These women, including Christine de Pizan, Laura Cereta, Margaret More Roper, Lucrezia Marinella, and Bathsua Makin, did not argue for women’s political equality, but they represented and often advocated women’s intellectual equality. Ross demonstrates that because of their education, these women had a renaissance during the Renaissance, and that in so doing they laid the foundation for the emancipation of womankind.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kate Lowe
A provocative and academic new reading of Renaissance feminism for a post-feminist generation.
Diana Robin
The Birth of Feminism comes to us as a crucial book at this time since--strange to say--we still lack synthetic, comprehensive studies in women's literary and political history prior to 1750. Ross's book spans 300 years and documents the rise of a discourse of women's rights and the culture of feminism in two nations, offering a much needed guide to the period and its chief actors.
Elissa B. Weaver
This is an impressive and very persuasive study. I would recommend it to anyone interested in women's literature, women's history, or in the history of education for the wealth of information Ross has gathered and for the effective way she builds her argument about the education of women within the intellectual family.
Anthony Grafton
Sarah Ross redraws our maps of Renaissance society and culture in this erudite and fascinating book. She recreates a lost world of women humanists, who found new meanings in ancient texts and new literary possibilities in ancient models. She rediscovers, behind them, another forgotten world, one of generous fathers—real and fictive—who helped women learn, write, and make their way into the public world. And through deft close readings of a wide range of texts, she proves that both in Italy and in England, intellectual women had an extraordinary Renaissance.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674034549
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Gwyneth Ross is Assistant Professor of History, Boston College.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

  • Note on the Texts
  • Introduction


  1. I: THE HOUSEHOLD ACADEMY, 1400–1580
  2. Her Father's Daughter
  3. Household Academies in Venice and London
  4. The Biographical Tradition
  5. Models of Feminist Argument

  6. II: THE HOUSEHOLD SALON, 1580–1680
  7. Learned Wives and Mothers in Italy
  8. Collaborative Marriages in Britain
  9. Discourses of Equality and Rights

  • Conclusion
  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)