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Women and Literature in Britain, 1500-1700 / Edition 1

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This is the first comprehensive introduction to the works and social contexts of women writers in early modern Britain, a paradoxical period when it was considered unfeminine to write and yet women were the authors of many poems, translations, conduct books, autobiographies, plays, pamphlets and other texts. Leading scholars examine the history of women's role in and access to literary culture, and the work of individual women writers. A unique chronology offers a woman-centered perspective on historical and literary events, and there is a guide to further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"At last, a comprehensive collection of essays about early modern women that demonstrates the wide range of women's writing and reading practices during the period, from scientific discourse to commercial drama, from books of advice to accounts of prophecy. offers a rich tapestry of critical approaches and textual information." Margaret J. M. Ezell, Journal of English & Germanic Philology

"This book would be extremely useful in undergraduate courses, as the editors include a chronology of events important to women, an extensve bibliography, and a wealth of historical and literary information." Signs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521467773
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Chronology: Women and literature in Britain, 1500–1700; Introduction Helen Wilcox; Part I. Constructing Women in Early Modern Britain: 1. Humanist education and the Renaissance concept of women Hilda L. Smith; 2. Religion and the construction of femininity Suzanne Trill; 3. Advice for women from mothers and patriarchs Valerie Wayne; 4. Women reading, reading women Jacqueline Pearson; 5. Women/'women' and the stage Ann Thompson; 6. Feminine modes of knowing and scientific enquiry Bronwen Price; Part II. Writing Women in Early Modern Britian: 7. Renaissance concepts of the 'woman writer' Margaret W. Ferguson; 8. Courtly writing by women Helen Hackett; 9. Women's poetry in early modern Britain Elizabeth H. Hageman; 10. Women's writing and the self Elspeth Graham; 11. The possibilities of prose Betty S. Travitsky; 12. The first female dramatists Ros Ballaster; Further reading.

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