Synopses & Reviews
An in-depth study of early modern women's modesty rhetoric from the English Reformation to the Restoration. This book provides new readings of modesty's gendered deployment in the works of Anne Askew, Katharine Parr, Mary Sidney, Aemilia Lanyer and Anne Bradstreet.
"Patricia Pender's engaging and thoroughly researched book argues that early modern women writers' uses of modesty tropes need to be taken as just that â€“ that is, as the use of conventional tropes available to male and female writers alike . . . An especially interesting aspect of Pender's book emerges in her work on Mary Sidney, where she argues that while Sidney presents herself as properly, femininely submissive, her writing nevertheless articulates a strongly competitive and ambitious self at odds with the ostensible humility of her dedicatory poems . . . This book provides ample evidence that it is precisely in their seeming admissions of incompetence that we find the most powerful assertions of early modern women's rhetorical skill and confidence." - Parergon
About the Author
PATRICIA PENDER is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has published widely on feminism and the early modern period in essay collections and international journals including SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Women Writers: Elizabethan to Victorian and Huntingdon Library Quarterly.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Authorial Alibis: Early Modern and Late Modern
Self-Effacement and Sprezzatura: Modesty and Manipulation
Sola Scriptura: Reading, Speech, and Silence in The Examinations of Anne Askew
'A worme most abjecte': Sermo Humilisas Reformation Strategy in Katherine Parr's Prayers or Medytacions
Mea Mediocritas: Mary Sidney, Modesty, and the History of the Book
'This triall of my slender skill': Inexpressibility and Interpretive Community in Aemilia Lanyer's Encomia
'To be a foole in print': Anne Bradstreet and the Romance of 'Pirated' Publication