Catechisms Written for Mothers, Schoolmistresses and Children, 1575-1750: Essential Works for the Study of Early Modern Women: Series III, Part Three, Volume 2

1st Edition

Paula McQuade

Published July 4, 2008
Reference - 328 Pages
ISBN 9780754651659 - CAT# Y234147
Series: The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works Series III, Part Three

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As works designed for mothers to instruct their children within the home, early modern mother-directed catechisms, like traditional catechisms, use the question-and-answer format to present the basic tenets of the Protestant faith. But such catechisms differ from traditional ones in how they represent the mother-child relationship. Because catechisms discuss fine questions of theology, and because they present a non-contentious image of maternal authority, many literary critics and cultural historians have failed to explore their cultural significance, focusing instead upon secular, dramatic representations of motherhood in early modern plays and pamphlet accounts of murderous mothers. This collection demonstrates that these catechisms provide valuable insight into constructions of early modern maternity, and more broadly, into the degree of power and authority accorded to women in the early modern Protestant family. It includes nearly all of the extant catechisms the editor was able to locate which were designed expressly for mothers and published between 1550 and 1750.


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