Elizabeth Cellier, the scandalous celebrity known as the 'Popish midwife', became the focus of a large number of pamphlets in 1680: accounts of her two trials, her self-vindication, Malice Defeated, her opponent Thomas Dangerfield's rejoinder, and various anonymous satiric attacks against her. She was tried twice: the first time for the more serious charge of treason, and the second for libel, for publishing Malice Defeated. She was acquitted the first time, but found guilty the second, though her punishment was to be pilloried, not executed. She reemerges as the author of tracts on midwifery, proposing to James II the establishment of a professional guild of midwives. Her writings exhibit her remarkable determination to publish her accusations of judicial torture and her advocacy of the licensing of midwives as professional women, as well as exemplifying the importance of the printing press for enabling women to participate in the political public sphere.
Table of Contents
Contents:Preface by the General Editors; Introductory Note; Texts by Elizabeth Cellier: Malice Defeated (1680); The Matchless Rogue (1680); A Scheme for the Foundation of a Royal Hospital (1687); To Dr ___ (1687). Texts about Elizabeth Cellier: The Triall of Elizabeth Cellier (1680); The tryal and sentence of Elizabeth Cellier (1680). Thomas Dangerfield: Tho. Dangerfield's Answer (1680); Miles Prance: Mr Prance's Answer to Mrs Cellier's Libel (1680); Modesty Triumphing Over Impudence (1680); The Scarlet Beast Stripped Naked; William Fletcher, An Answer to Malice Defeated (1680); The Midwife Unmask'd (1680); The Pope's Letter to Maddam Cellier (1680); A Letter from the Lady Creswell (1680); A True Copy of a Letter of Consolation Sent to Nat. the Printer (1681) Mistriss Celler's Lamentation (1681); The New Popish Sham-Plot discovered (1682).
Mihoko Suzuki is Professor of English at the University of Miami, USA. She is the author of Subordinate Subjects: Gender, the Political Nation, and Literary Form in England, 1588-1688 (2003); and co-editor of Debating Gender in Early Modern England, 1500-1700 (2002) and Women's Political Writings, 1610-1715 (2007).