Synopses & Reviews
This anthology is a unique collection of rare women's writing written during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This collection introduces modern readers to the various examples of the work of women writers from these centuries and includes poems, prose and fiction, drama, letters, prophecies, tracts and philosophy. The collection begins with the poetry of Isabella Whitney, who worked in a gentlewoman's household in London in the late 1560s, and ends with Aphra Behn, who was employed as a spy in Amsterdam by Charles II. Also collected here are examples of ten other women writers, allowing the reader to sample the diverse and lively output of all classes and opinions, from aristocrats Mary Wroth, Anne Clifford, and Margaret Cavendish to women of obscure background caught up in the religious ferment of the mid-seventeenth century like Hester Biddle, Priscilla Cotton, and Mary Cole. The collection offers readers the possibility of tracing patterns through the works as well as a sense of historical shift and change. Each text is newly edited from its original source and includes comprehensive notes, both explanatory and textual.
Many women wrote during the 16th and 17th centuries and this collection will serve to introduce readers to the full variety of their writing in this period, from poems, prose and fiction to prophecies, letters, tracts and philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references (p. [xxxiii]-xxxviii).