Exploring the Lives of Women, 1558-1837

Exploring the Lives of Women, 1558-1837


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Exploring the Lives of Women, 1558-1837' is an engaging and lively collection of original, thought-provoking essays. Its route from Lady Jane Grey’s nine-day reign to Queen Victoria’s accession provides ample opportunities to examine complex interactions between gender, rank, and power. Yet the book’s scope extends far beyond queens: its female cast includes servants, aristocrats, literary women, opera singers, actresses, fallen women, athletes and mine workers.

The collection explores themes relating to female power and physical strength; infertility, motherhood, sexuality and exploitation; creativity and celebrity; marriage and female friendship. It draws upon a wide range of primary materials to explore diverse representations of women: illuminating accounts of real women’s lives appear alongside fictional portrayals and ideological constructions of femininity. In exploring women’s negotiations with patriarchal control, this book demonstrates how the lived experience of women did not always correspond to prescribed social and gendered norms, revealing the rich complexity of their lives.

This volume has been published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837. The group was formed to promote research into any aspect of women’s lives as experienced or depicted within this period. The depth, range and creativity of the essays in this book reflect the myriad interests of its members.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526751393
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 09/16/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Louise Duckling is an independent scholar working on eighteenth-century women writers and their posthumous reputations. She has previously co-edited 'Woman to Woman: Female Negotiations in the Long Eighteenth Century', with Carolyn D. Williams and Angela Escott (University of Delaware Press, 2010).

Table of Contents

List of Contributors vii

List of Illustrations x

Preface Women's Studies Group, 1558-1837: Exploring the Lives of Women Since 1987 xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

Introduction Carolyn D. Williams xix

Chapter 1 Michelangelo Florio and Lady Jane Grey: A Case Study of a Book Dedication to a Royal Tudor Lady Valerie Schutte 1

Chapter 2 'The Wine much better then the Bush': Thomas Lodge's Address to the Reader in The Countesse of Lincolnes Nurserie Sara Read 11

Chapter 3 God-Given Pleasure; Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Sexual Pleasure in Early Modern England Jennifer Evans 24

Stilts Jacqueline Mulhallen 33

Chapter 4 Tweaking the Biography of Anne Finch Yvonne Noble 35

Chapter 5 'For ever shaded by oblivion's veil': Obituarizing Women in the Eighteenth-Century Gentleman's Magazine Gillian Williamson 47

Chapter 6 Female Radicals in Bristol: The Three Marys and Mary Wollstonecraft's 'The Cave of Fancy' Marie Mulvey-Roberts 57

Chapter 7 A Quest for Female Sexual Agency in the Eighteenth-Century Novel Sarah Oliver 67

Chapter 8 Scold, Punish, Pity or Seduce? The Confused Rhetoric of Advice to Unmarried Women (1791) Tabitha Kenlon 80

Gretchen's Answer Tabitha Kenlon 90

Chapter 9 Friendships: Commonalities across the Centuries Julie Peakman 99

Chapter 10 Rivalry, Camaraderie and the Prima Donnas: Elizabeth Billington and Gertrude Mara Brianna E. Robertson-Kirkland 109

Chapter 11 Eliza O'Neill and the Art of Acting Jacqueline Mulhallen 120

Chapter 12 Better than the Men: The Uses and Abuses of Women's Strength, Speed, Skill and Endurance in the Long Eighteenth Century Peter Radford 133

Chapter 13 'Merely butterflies of a season'? The Halls, Ideology and Control in the Early Nineteenth-Century Annuals Marion Durnin 145

Conclusion Queens of Literature: Royals, Role Models and the Construction of Women's History Louise Duckling 156

Endnotes 166

Further Reading 208

Index 214

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