Women's Writing in English: Early Modern England

By Patricia Demers

© 2005

In this introduction to the diversity and scope of the writing by women in England from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Patricia Demers discusses the creative realities of women writers' accomplishments and the cultural conditions under which they wrote.

There were deep suspicions and restrictions surrounding the education of women during this period, and thus the contributions of women to literature, and to the print industry itself, are largely unknown. This wide-ranging examination of the genres of early modern women's writing embraces translation (from Latin, Greek, and French) in the fields of theological discourse, romance and classical tragedy, original meditations and prayers, letters and diaries, poetry, closet drama, advice manuals, and prophecies and polemics. A close study of six major authors – Mary Sidney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, Lady Mary Wroth, Margaret Cavendish, and Katherine Philips – explores their work as poets, dramatists, and romantic fiction writers. Demers invites readers to savour the subtlety and daring with which these women authors made writing an expressly social craft.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5in x 1.1in x 8.5in
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SKU# SP002045

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2005

    From: $28.46

    Regular Price: $37.95

    ISBN 9780802086648
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2005

    From: $28.46

    Regular Price: $37.95

Quick Overview

This wide-ranging examination of the genres of early modern women's writing embraces translation in the fields of theological discourse, romance and classical tragedy, original meditations and prayers, letters and diaries, poetry, closet drama, advice manuals, and prophecies and polemics.

Women's Writing in English: Early Modern England

By Patricia Demers

© 2005

In this introduction to the diversity and scope of the writing by women in England from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Patricia Demers discusses the creative realities of women writers' accomplishments and the cultural conditions under which they wrote.

There were deep suspicions and restrictions surrounding the education of women during this period, and thus the contributions of women to literature, and to the print industry itself, are largely unknown. This wide-ranging examination of the genres of early modern women's writing embraces translation (from Latin, Greek, and French) in the fields of theological discourse, romance and classical tragedy, original meditations and prayers, letters and diaries, poetry, closet drama, advice manuals, and prophecies and polemics. A close study of six major authors – Mary Sidney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, Lady Mary Wroth, Margaret Cavendish, and Katherine Philips – explores their work as poets, dramatists, and romantic fiction writers. Demers invites readers to savour the subtlety and daring with which these women authors made writing an expressly social craft.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5in x 1.1in x 8.5in
  • Reviews

    ‘In this clearly written book, Patricia Demers provides an informative analysis of how early modern women writers contributed to the structure of the period’s world of thought and demonstrates a wide breadth of scholarship in the area. Demers writes with energy and vitality, and the large historical range she surveys provides coverage not always seen in studies of this kind. Students being introduced to the field will find in this book a wealth of valuable information and clear, direct analysis while more experienced scholars will appreciate the opportunity of finding references to less familiar authors and forms of writing.’


    Linda Vecchi, Department of English Language and Literature, Memorial University of Newfoundland

    ‘With this new work, Patricia Demers offers exciting insights into the connections between well-known women writers of the early modern period, and those less well known. For the student, it opens up the world of early modern women’s writing, and for the specialist, it offers numerous fresh and provocative ideas about individual women’s texts, as well as a judicious assessment of the present state of contemporary scholarship. Particularly excellent are the careful and nuanced readings of the rhetoric of women’s defences and the treatment of the social, political, and gendered anxieties of both male-authored attacks on, and defences of, women.’


    Marie H. Loughlin, Department of English, Okanagan University College
  • Author Information

    Patricia Demers is a distinguished university professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.
  • Table of contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements

    1. Studying Early Modern Women Writers

    2. Women in Early Modern England
    Chiselling the Image, Unwinding the Rhetoric
    Reading Early Modern Women's Writing
    Educating Women
    Praising and Blaming Women
    Wiving and Thriving
    Childbearing

    3. The Genres of Early Modern Women's Writing
    Translation
    Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Roper, Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Bassett
    Jane Lumley, the Cooke Sisters, Anne Vaughan Lock, Margaret Tyler, Mary Sidney Herbert
    Theological Debate, Romantic Intrigue, and Classical Tragedy: Elizabeth Cary, Judith Man, Katherine Philips
    Meditations and Testimonials
    Prayers
    Letters and Diaries
    Poetry
    Elizabethan poets: Isabella Whitney, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Anne Vaughan lock, Lady Mary Sidney Herbert, Anne Dowriche, Elizabeth Melville
    Esther Inglis and Elizabeth Jane Weston in the Republic of Letters
    Jacobean polemical Talents: Aemilia Lanyer, Bathsua Reginald, Rachel Speght, Mary Wroth
    Caroline, protectorate, and Restoration Poets' Complication of Early Modern Selfhood: Diana Primrose, Mary Fage, An Collins, 'Eliza', Elizabeth Major, Gertrude Thimelby, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Cavendish, Katherine Philips
    Drama and the Dramatic
    'Closet' Drama: translations, Adaptations, Original Creations
    Mothers' Advice Books: Elizabeth Grymeston, Dorothy Leigh, Elizabeth Clinton, Elizabeth Joscelin, Elizabeth Richardson
    Prophecies and Polemics, Petitions and Missionary Accounts: Radical Women and Godly Zeal

    4. Six Major Authors
    Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621)
    Aemilia Lanyer (1569-1645)
    Elizabeth Tanfiled Cary, Viscountess of Falkland (1585-1639)
    Lady Mary Wroth (1587-1653)
    Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673)
    Katherine Philips, the Matchless Orinda (1632-1664)

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