English Women, Religion, and Textual Production, 1500-1625: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

English Women, Religion, and Textual Production, 1500-1625

1st Edition

Edited by Micheline White


266 pages

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Contributing to the growing interest in early modern women and religion, this essay collection advances scholarship by introducing readers to recently recovered or little-studied texts and by offering new paradigms for the analysis of women's religious literary activities. Contributors underscore the fact that women had complex, multi-dimensional relationships to the religio-political order, acting as activists for specific causes but also departing from confessional norms in creative ways and engaging in intra-as well as extra-confessional conflict. The volume thus includes essays that reflect on the complex dynamics of religious culture itself and that illuminate the importance of women's engagement with Catholicism throughout the period. The collection also highlights the vitality of neglected intertextual genres such as prayers, meditations, and translations, and it focuses attention on diverse forms of textual production such as literary writing, patronage, epistolary exchanges, public reading, and epitaphs. Collectively, English Women, Religion, and Textual Production, 1500-1625 offers a comprehensive treatment of the historical, literary, and methodological issues preoccupying scholars of women and religious writing.


'This excellent collection breaks new ground, admirably theorizing early modern women's agency in religious communities and intertextual prose genres.' Margaret P. Hannay, Siena College, USA and author of Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth '… the essays are thought provoking and valuable, offering a new understanding of how early-modern women used writing to engage with religion… Recommended.' Choice 'Taken together, these essays confirm Patricia Phillipy's eloquent statement, "Spirituality is a social undertaking, intimately bound to conversation, conference, and debate". This collection also offers important techniques of analysis of women's prayers, a genre often neglected because its reliance on scripture would seem to detract from authorial creativity… these essays provide useful techniques for reading women's religious writing that will influence future work.' Renaissance Quarterly 'The scholarship collected here rests on detailed archival work, careful historicizing of textual production, and close attention to textual sources. The volume will be required reading for all those who work on early modern women’s religious literature, and will be valued not least for its focus on style and language. As well as telling us much about the works discussed and their social and religious contexts, these essays show that the history of the book has its part to play in developing methodologies for the study of early modern women’s religious writing.' SHARP News 'A wonderful collection, English Women, Religion, and Textual Production, 1500-1625, will appeal to both historians and literary critics of early modern women and religiosity. I highly recommend it.' Renaissance Studies ’…[This book] admirably fulfils its historical and theoretical briefs, restoring attention to little discussed texts, recovering the contexts that explain them, and reinstating the literary and critical frameworks that shape them. White and her contributors should therefore be congratul

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: women, religious communities, intertextual prose genres, and textual production, Micheline White; Part I Women and Religious Communities: Living stones: Lady Elizabeth Russell and the art of sacred conversation, Patricia Phillippy; 'Theise dearest offrings of my heart': the sacrifice of praise in Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke's Psalmes, Mary Trull; Anne Dacre Howard, Countess of Arundel, and Catholic patronage, Susannah Brietz Monta; 'Ensigne-bearers of Saint Clare': Elizabeth Evelinge's early translations of the restoration of English Franciscanism, Jaime Goodrich; Lady Anne Clifford and the uses of Christian warfare, Julie Crawford. Part II Reading Intertextual Prose Genres: Prospecting for common ground in devotion: Queen Katherine Parr's personal prayerbook, Janel Mueller; 'Halff a scrypture woman': heteroglossia and female authorial agency in prayers by Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhit, Anne Lock, and Anne Wheathill, Susan M. Felch; Authority, scripture, and typography in Lady Grace Mildmay's manuscript meditations, Kate Narveson; Lady Margaret Beaufort's translations as mirrors of practical piety, Brenda M. Hosington; 'Neither bitterly nor brablingly': Lady Anne Cooke Bacon's translation of Bishop Jewel's Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, Patricia Demers; Works cited; Index.

About the Editor

Micheline White is Associate Professor of English Literature at Carleton University, Canada. She is the editor of Ashgate Critical Essays on Women Writers in England, 1550-1700: Volume 3: Anne Lock, Isabella Whitney and Aemilia Lanyer (2009), and has published articles on Tudor women and religious writing.

About the Series

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World
The study of women and gender offers some of the most vital and innovative challenges to current scholarship on the early modern period. For more than a decade now, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World has served as a forum for presenting fresh ideas and original approaches to the field. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in scope, this Routledge series strives to reach beyond geographical limitations to explore the experiences of early modern women and the nature of gender in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. We welcome proposals for both single-author volumes and edited collections which expand and develop this continually evolving field of study.

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