A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen : Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650 book cover
1st Edition

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen
Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650

ISBN 9780367882532
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
660 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $54.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

From the exemplary to the notorious to the obscure, this comprehensive and innovative encyclopedia showcases the worthy women of early modern England. Poets, princesses, or pirates, the women of power and agency found in these pages are indeed worth knowing, and this volume will introduce many female figures to even the most established scholars in early modern studies. Rather than using the conventional alphabetical format of the standard biographical encyclopedia, this volume is divided into categories of women. Since many women will fit in more than one category, each woman is placed in the category that best exemplifies her life, and is cross referenced in other appropriate sections. This structure makes the book an interesting read for seasoned scholars of early modern women, while students need not already be familiar with these subjects in order to benefit from the text. Another unusual feature of this reference work is that each entry begins with some incident from the woman’s life that is particularly exciting or significant. Some entries are very brief while others are extensive. Each includes a source listing. The book is well illustrated and liberally sprinkled with quotations of the time either by or about the women in the text.

Table of Contents






Beale, Mary Cradock Beale

Horenbout, Susanna Horenbout [Horenbolte] Parker Gilman

Inglis, Esther Inglis Kello

Jane the Fool

Perwich, Susanna Perwich

Teerlinc, Levina Benninck Teerlinc



Abbott, Elizabeth Abbott

Arden, Alice Arden

Barnes, Elizabeth Barnes

Baynton, Mary Baynton

Bridgestone, Ann Bridgestone

Brigge, Mabel Brigge

Bulmer, Margaret Cheyne Bulmer

Caldwell, Elizabeth Caldwell

Chamber, Rebecca Chamber

Champion, Mary Champion

Clarke, Alice Clarke

Cowland, Alice Cowland

Crofte, Elizabeth Crofte

Davis, Alice Davis

Davy, Margaret Davy [Davie]

Dell, Annis Dell

Downes, Katherine Stamfort Downes

Drewry, Anne Drewry [Drewie, Calfield]

Evans, Elizabeth Evans ["Canberry Bess"]

Ferneseede, Margaret Ferneseede

Ferrers, Katherine Ferrers Fanshawe

Francis, Katherine Francis

Frith, Mary Frith ["Moll Cutpurse"]

Greene, Anne Greene

Gunter, Anne Gunter

Hamton, Anne Hamton

Hattersley, Jane Hattersley

Hayward, Petronella Brightred Hayward

Helliker, Joan Helliker

Howard, Frances Howard Devereux Carr, Countess of Essex and Somerset

Hungerford, Agnes Cotell Hungerford

Lake, Mary Ryder Lake

Osborne, Mary Osborne

Page, Eulalia Glanfield Page

Pendleton, Ellen Pendleton Floder

Phelps, Judith Phelps

Rodney, Anne Lake Cecil Rodney, Lady Ros

Saunders, Anne Saunders

Scambler, Martha Scambler

Throckmorton, Frances Brydges Throckmorton

Turner, Ann Norton Turner

Vincent, Margaret Vincent

Wallen, Anne Wallen<

View More



Carole Levin is Willa Cather Professor of History and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, USA.

Anna Riehl Bertolet is Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, USA.

Jo Eldridge Carney is Professor of English at The College of New Jersey, USA.


"The encyclopedia is truly a collaborative effort, one that feels momentous: a crystillization of the maturity of the field and the range and extent of its activity [...] In sum, the amazing diversity of women's activities and undertaking documented, in greater or lesser detail, in the Biographical Encyclopedia more than makes up for any inconveniences the volume presents. One cannot help but finish even a perusal of its contents without being struck by the rich world of different presented here. And once striken, one will surely return for more."

- Patricia Phillippy, Kingston University London, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal