Women Writing History in Early Modern England

Overview

In 1603 an English gentlewoman, Elizabeth Grymeston, composed for her young son a series of meditations - meditations that would offer posthumous advice and reflection on everything from the nature of sin to the limits of royal authority. Six months later Grymeston was dead and her words memorialized not just for a small boy but also for an English audience eager for moral edification and enlightenment. As one of the first writers of the mother's legacy to appear in England, Grymeston looked to history to find ...

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Overview

In 1603 an English gentlewoman, Elizabeth Grymeston, composed for her young son a series of meditations - meditations that would offer posthumous advice and reflection on everything from the nature of sin to the limits of royal authority. Six months later Grymeston was dead and her words memorialized not just for a small boy but also for an English audience eager for moral edification and enlightenment. As one of the first writers of the mother's legacy to appear in England, Grymeston looked to history to find her answers. Using life experience as her witness, she drew immediate and powerful connections between yesterday's actions and tomorrow's possibilities. She was not alone - throughout the seventeenth century, scores of Englishwomen did likewise, exploring in their own 'histories' the shifting relationships between past and future. This book focuses on this dynamic exchange, asking us to look seriously at the ends of history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: 'Not only is Women Writing History in Early Modern England an impressive contribution to the scholarship on women's historical writing in the early modern period; it constitutes an important theoretical intervention on the relationship between ethics and historiography, and on our own relationship to the past that is the subject of our scholarship. This is a book that scholars of both literature and history will read with great profit.' Literature and History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107406629
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2012
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Megan Matchinske is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Table of Contents

1. Strategies for survival: gender, ethics and history; 2. Truth in the telling: moral, method and history in Anne Dowriche's The French Historie; 3. Gendering Catholic conformity: equivocal history and cultural context in Elizabeth Grymeston's Miscelanea; 4. From here to 'henceforth': history, gender and identity in the diary writing of Lady Anne Clifford; 5. Receptive readers: dissimulation and historical truth in Mary Carleton's bigamy trials; 6. The 'dying-tale': history and the ethics of action; Bibliography.

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