Genre and Women's Life Writing in Early Modern England

1st Edition

Michelle M. Dowd, Julie A. Eckerle

Routledge
Published November 11, 2016
Reference - 195 Pages
ISBN 9781138264922 - CAT# Y314425

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Summary

By taking account of the ways in which early modern women made use of formal and generic structures to constitute themselves in writing, the essays collected here interrogate the discursive contours of gendered identity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. The contributors explore how generic choice, mixture, and revision influence narrative constructions of the female self in early modern England. Collectively they situate women's life writings within the broader textual culture of early modern England while maintaining a focus on the particular rhetorical devices and narrative structures that comprise individual texts. Reconsidering women's life writing in light of recent critical trends-most notably historical formalism-this volume produces both new readings of early modern texts (such as Margaret Cavendish's autobiography and the diary of Anne Clifford) and a new understanding of the complex relationships between literary forms and early modern women's 'selves'. This volume engages with new critical methods to make innovative connections between canonical and non-canonical writing; in so doing, it helps to shape the future of scholarship on early modern women.

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