Early Modern Women Writers Engendering Descent
Mary Sidney Herbert, Mary Sidney Wroth, and their Genealogical Cultures
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Focusing on Mary Sidney Herbert and Mary Sidney Wroth’s use of the figures of origin, descent, and inheritance in their poetry and prose, this book examines how these central women writers situated themselves in terms of early modern England’s rich ancestral cultures, employing these and other genealogical concepts to talk about authorship, family, selfhood, and memory. In turn, both Sidney Herbert and Sidney Wroth also shaped their works in relation to the ways in which writers within their familial communities and literary coteries constructed them as Sidneys, heirs, descendants, and future ancestors, in genres ranging from the patronage dedication and pastoral eclogue to mythographic genealogia and georgic poetry.
In the intersection of ancestry, death, sexuality, and reproduction, the book contends that Sidney Herbert and Sidney Wroth develop their authorship within the simultaneous rigidity and flexibility of their world’s genealogical discourses.
Marie H. Loughlin is an associate professor of English literature in the department of English and Cultural Studies at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. She has published in the areas of early modern women’s writing, drama, concepts of the body, and sexuality.