This is the first comprehensive study of the remarkably rich tradition of women’s writing that flourished in Italy between the fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Virginia Cox documents this tradition and both explains its character and scope and offers a new hypothesis on the reasons for its emergence and decline.
Cox combines fresh scholarship with a revisionist argument that overturns existing historical paradigms for the chronology of early modern Italian women’s writing and questions the historiographical commonplace that the tradition was brought to an end by the Counter Reformation. Using a comparative analysis of women's activities as artists, musicians, composers, and actresses, Cox locates women's writing in its broader contexts and considers how gender reflects and reinvents conventional narratives of literary change.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Virginia Cox is a professor of Italian at New York University and author of The Renaissance Dialogue: Literary Dialogue in Its Social and Political Contexts, Castiglione to Galileo and coeditor of The Rhetoric of Cicero in Its Medieval and Early Renaissance Commentary Tradition. She is also editor and translator of Moderata Fonte, The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men, and coeditor and translator of Maddalena Campiglia, Flori, A Pastoral Drama.
Table of Contents
Origins (1400-1500) 1
The "Learned Lady" in Quattrocento Italy: An Emerging Cultural Type 2
The "Learned Lady" in Theory: Models of Gender Conduct and Their Contexts 17
The "Learned Lady" as Signifier in Humanistic Culture 28
Renaissance Particularism and the "Learned Lady" 34
Translation (1490-1550) 37
Women, the Courts, and the Vernacular in the Early Sixteenth Century 38
Sappho Surfaces: The First Female Vernacular Poets 45
Bembo, Petrarchism, and the Reform of Italian Literature 53
"So Dear to Apollo": Veronica Gambara and Vittoria Colonna after 1530 64
Founding Mothers, First Ladies: Gambara and Colonna as Models and Icons 76
Diffusion (1540-1560) 80
Manuscript and Print in the "Age of the Council of Trent" 80
Virtu Rewarded: The Contexts of Women's Writing 91
Women Writers and Their Uses: Case Studies 99
Literary Trajectories: Continuity and Change 108
Women Writers and the Paradox of the Pedestal 118
Intermezzo (1560-1580) 121
Affirmation (1580-1620) 131
Women's Writing in the Age of theCounter-Reformation 131
Chivalry Undimmed: The Contexts of Women's Writing 138
A Literature of Their Own? Writing, Ownership, Assertion 149
The Twilight of Gallantry 163
Backlash (1590-1650) 166
The Rebirth of Misogyny in Seicento Italy 166
Misogyny and the Woman Writer: The Redomestication of Female Virtu 195
Women's Writing in Seicento Italy: Decline and Fall 204
Published Writings by Italian Women, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries 235
Dedications of Published Works by Women 247
What People are Saying About This
This is not only an original and substantial contribution to the field of Italian Renaissance Literature, but it will be for years to come the indispensable reference work for anyone working on Italian women writers' contribution to the literary and cultural history of the period.
Virginia Cox's Women's Writing in Italy, 1400–1650 is the most substantive study written to date on the relations between Italian humanism and the emergence of the female intellectual. Cox's knowledge of the period is deep, her readings refreshingly independent. Authoritative, wide-ranging, and persuasive, this book sets a new benchmark for scholarship on early modern women's writings.