Personal Disclosures: An Anthology of Self-Writings from the Seventeenth Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Personal Disclosures

An Anthology of Self-Writings from the Seventeenth Century, 1st Edition

By David Booy


472 pages

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Hardback: 9780754601210
pub: 2002-01-14
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The seventeenth century saw a dramatic increase in self-writing-from the private jotting down of personal thoughts in an irregular and spontaneous way, to the carefully considered composition of extended autobiographical narrative and deliberate self-fashioning for public consumption. Recent anthologies of women's writing, drawing to some extent on this rich but relatively little-known archive, have demonstrated the importance of studying such material to gain insight into female lives in that era. Personal Disclosures is innovative in that it stimulates and facilitates comparative analysis of female and male representations of the self, and of gendered constructions of identity and experience, by presenting a broad range of extracts from both women's and men's autobiographical writings. The majority of the extracts have been freshly edited from original seventeenth-century manuscripts and books. Exploiting all kinds of text-diaries, journals, logs, testimonies, memoirs, letters, autobiographies-the anthology also encourages consideration of topics central to current scholarly interest: religious experience, the body, communities, the family, encounters with new lands and peoples, and the conceptualization and writing of the self. A General Introduction discusses early modern autobiographical writing, and there are substantial introductions to each of the six sections, together with detailed suggestions for further reading.


'… useful and illuminating providing an accessible source of varied texts for learning to read early modern self-writings.' Quaker Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Editorial note; section 1: Marriage: Introduction; Maria Thynne: letters to her husband; Grace Mildmay: meditation on her husband’s corpse; Simonds D’Ewes: marriage negotiations; Adam, John and Margaret Winthrop: family letters: Martha Moulsworth: a widow’s reflections on her three marriages; Archibald Johnston: his marriage and the death of his wife; Nicholas Ferrar: letters to his sister-in-law and his brother; Ann Fanshawe: being put in her place by her husband; Oliver Heywood: his marriage and the death of his wife; Anthony Walker: his wife’s daily routine; Alice Hays: an altercation with her husband and his family; Elizabeth Freak: reflections on an unsatisfactory husband; Section 2: Parents and children: Introduction; Maria Thynne: letter to her mother-in-law; Thomas Shepard: memories of a difficult childhood; Katherine Paston: letters to her son at university; Henry and James Oxinden: letters between brothers; Catherine Holland: battles with her father over matters of faith; Archibald Johnston: problems in the household; Katherine Philips: the death of her baby son; Roger North: his upbringing; John and Ann Ferrar: conflict between father- and daughter-in-law; Agnes Beaumont: conflict with her father over matters of faith; Cotton Mather: on his children; Section 3: Beyond the family: Introduction; Nehemiah Wallington: on money matters; John Dane: leaving home; Constantia Fowler: on her prospective sister-in-law; Adam Martindale: experiences in the civil wars; Anne Halkett: her relationship with Thomas Howard; Francis Kirkman: difficulties as an apprentice; Dorothy Osborne: ending her engagement; Elizabeth Delaval: her relationship with Mistress Carter; Roger Lowe: love and friendship; Isaac Archer: early experiences as a clergyman; Edward Barlow: returning to his native village; Section 4: States of body, states of mind: Introduction; Richard Kilby: his chronic illness; William Lithgow: being tortured by the Spanish Inquisition; Francis Knig

About the Series

The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions

The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions
Designed to complement The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works, Contemporary Editions presents both modernized and old-spelling editions of texts not only by women but also for and about women. Contents of a volume can range from a single text to an anthology depending on the subject and the audience. Introductions to the editions are written with the general reader as well as the specialist in mind. They are designed to provide an introduction not only to the edited text itself but also to the larger historical discourses expressed through the text.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature