While the relationships between parents and children have long been a staple of critical inquiry, bonds between siblings have received far less attention among early modern scholars. Indeed, until now, no single volume has focused specifically on relations between brothers and sisters during the early modern period, nor do many essays or monographs address the topic. The essays in Sibling Relations and Gender in the Early Modern World focus attention on this neglected area, exploring the sibling dynamics that shaped family relations from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries in Italy, England, France, Spain, and Germany. Using an array of feminist and cultural studies approaches, prominent scholars consider sibling ties from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, including art history, musicology, literary studies, and social history. By articulating some of the underlying paradigms according to which sibling relations were constructed, the collection seeks to stimulate further scholarly research and critical inquiry into this fruitful area of early modern cultural studies.
Prize: Winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Award for a collaborative project published in 2006
'There is no biblical commandment to "love thy siblings" but there is rich and varied evidence-some of it newly brought to light in this valuable book-about how Renaissance women and men defined themselves in relation to those they called their sisters and brothers. Exploring a wide range of cultural documents, including manuscripts of uncensored letters from a Spanish nun to brothers helping her with her ambition to become a saint, crossing borders from Spain to Italy, France, Germany, and England, as well as dividing Protestants from Catholics, the essays collected in this well-edited interdisciplinary volume work together to create an original and complex picture of siblings interacting with each other. Love (including incest), competition, mutual support in activities from childbirth through musical performance to collaborative authorship: these are just a few of the topics analyzed and vividly illustrated in Sibling Relations and Gender in the Early Modern World.' Margaret Ferguson, Professor of English at the University of California-Davis
’Naomi Miller and Naomi Yavneh, already well-known for their volume on Maternal Measures (Ashgate, 2000), have once again assembled an interesting and stimulating cluster of essays by scholars from various disciplines… the authors have given voice to a wide spectrum of historical subjects and hence have allowed diverse forms of participation and expression to emerge. The editors should be commended for having historicized the relationships between siblings.’ Renaissance Quarterly
'… an engaging book… a collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays… Ashgate's series, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World, contains some broad-reaching essay collections that expand our knowledge of gender in comparative contexts, to which this book is a welcome addition… this is an excellent book for scholars and their students.' Journal of British Studies
Contents: Introduction: Thicker than water: evaluating sibling relations in the early modern period, Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh. Divine Devotion: Making a Saint Out of a Sibling, Susan D. Laningham; Recusant sisters: English Catholic women and the bonds of learning, Kari Boyd McBride; Families, Convents, Music: The Power of Sisterhood, Craig A. Monson; 'Liebe Schwester…': Siblings, convents, and the Reformation, Merry Wiesner-Hanks. Ties That Bind: Resisting Henri IV: Catherine de Bourbon and her brother, Jane Couchman; Sister-subject/sister-queen: Elizabeth I among her siblings, Carole Levin; Mary Sidney's other brothers, Margaret P. Hannay. Drawing the Line: The Politics of Private Discourse: Familial Relations in Lady Mary Wroth's Urania, Sheila T. Cavanagh; When the Mirror Lies: Sisterhood Reconsidered in Moderata Fonte's Thirteen Cantos of Floridoro, Valeria Finucci; Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli: musicians and sororal relations in later 16th-century Venice, Rebecca Edwards; The shame of siblings in David and Bethsabe, Stephen Guy-Bray; Sibling bonds and bondage in (and beyond) Shakespeare's The Tempest, Naomi J. Miller. Hand in Hand: Playing the game: sisterly relations in Sofonisba Anguissola's The Chess Game, Naomi Yavneh; 'My deare sister': sainted sisterhood in early modern England, Kathryn R. McPherson; Sisterly feelings in Cavendish and Brackley's drama, Alison Findlay; 'Thy passionately loving sister and faithfull friend': Anne Dormer's letters to her sister Lady Trumbull, Sara Mendelson and Mary O'Connor; Siblings, publications, and the transmission of memory: Johann Albert Hinrich and Elise Reimarus, Almut Spalding; Thicker than blood: l'oltr'altra, Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh. Index.