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Women and Writing, c.1340-c.1650


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The transition from medieval manuscript to early printed book is currently a major topic of academic interest, but has received very little attention in terms of women's involvement, a gap which the essays in this volume address. They add female names to the list of authors who participated in the creation of English literature, and examine women's responses to authoritative and traditional texts in revealing detail. Taking its cue from the advances made by recent work on manuscript culture and book history, this volume also includes studies of material evidence, looking at women's participation in the making of books, and the traces they left when they encountered actual volumes. Finally, studies of women's roles in relation to apparently ephemeral texts, such as letters, pamphlets and almanacs, challenge traditional divisions between public and private spheres as well as between manuscript and print.

Dr Anne Lawrence-Mathers is Lecturer in History, University of Reading; Phillipa Hardman is Senior Lecturer in English, University of Reading.

Contributors: Gemma Allen, Anna Bayman, James Daybell, Alice Eardley, Christopher Hardman, Phillipa Hardman, Elizabeth Heale, Anne Lawrence-Mathers, Adam Smyth, Alison Wiggins, Graham Williams


Hitherto unknown women have been brought to light and, in the six high quality illustrations included in the book, so too have some of the rare documents under consideration. [...] A welcome addition to the field. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

The work is well written and clearly laid out. It is a clear asset for library collections. Whether or not one is drawn to the topic, it is also well worth reading for an understanding of the many ways in which researchers approach manuscripts and early printed books. RARE BOOKS NEWSLETTER


First Published: 19 Aug 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9781903153321
Pages: 252
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: York Medieval Press

Details updated on 18 Nov 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  Domestic Learning and Teaching: Investigating Evidence for the Role of 'Household Miscellanies' in Late-Medieval England
  • 3  Domesticating the Calendar: The Hours and the Almanac in Tudor England
  • 4  'A Briefe and Plaine Declaration': Lady Anne Bacon's 1564 Translation of the Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae
  • 5  Frances Wolfreston's Chaucer
  • 6  Commonplace Book Culture: A List of Sixteen Traits
  • 7  Women, Politics and Domesticity: The Scribal Publication of Lady Rich's Letter to Elizabeth I
  • 8  'yr scribe can proove no nessecarye consiquence for you'?: The Social and Linguistic Implications of Joan Thynne's Using a Scribe in Letters to her Son, 1607-1611
  • 9  Fathers and Daughters: Four Women and Their Family Albums of Verse
  • 10  The Book as Domestic Gift: Bodleian MS Don. C. 24
  • 11  'Like hewen stone': Augustine, Audience and Revision in Elizabeth Isham's 'Booke of Rememberance' [c. 1639]
  • 12  Female Voices in Early Seventeenth Century Pamphlet Literature
  • 13  Bibliography