Of Chastity and Power: Elizabethan Literature and the Unmarried Queen

By Philippa Berry | Go to book overview
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My work on different versions of this book has spanned nearly ten years; during that period I have been advised and supported by many friends, teachers and colleagues, as well as by members of my family. My decision to undertake a critical project in the field of the Renaissance was first motivated by the gifted tuition of Jean Wilson and Peter Holland. The initial formulation of this text, as doctoral dissertation, was guided by the scholarship and critical insights of J. B. Trapp, Margaret MacGowan, and Alan Sinfield. The book’s feminist perspective derives from the inspiration provided by many women, some of whom I know only through their writings. The works of Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Marina Warner have especially challenged and encouraged me. Between 1977 and 1979 Christine Berg, Cora Kaplan, Jennifer Stone, and other members of the Marxist-Feminist Literature Collective helped me to develop my understanding of Marxist and feminist theory, and to begin to think about the relations between gender and political power. The conversion of thesis into book owes an especial debt to the wise guidance of my editors, Merrilyn Julian and Jane Armstrong; also to the combination of sisterly encouragement with constructive academic advice provided by my readers, Lisa Jardine and Catherine Belsey. Several former colleagues have stimulated and inspired me by their shared enthusiasm for the Renaissance; most notably David Aers, Tony Gash, Zara Bruzzi, Tony Bromham, and Susie Hamilton. Helen McNeil, Margaret Clayton, Elizabeth McGrath, and Gavin D’Costa offered helpful and perceptive comments on individual chapters. Margaret MacGowan generously advised me in the preparation of the French translations. Paul Berry and Jan Parker gave me the confidence to think more deeply about the theme of sexual ambiguity inscribed in the mythology of Diana. Teresa Brennan gave valuable last-minute advice about the introduction. Tom and Celia Berry were there whenever I needed them, which was quite often! And I owe an especial debt to the spirited and loving support of Bernard, Teresa, Paul, and Joan. Any


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Of Chastity and Power: Elizabethan Literature and the Unmarried Queen


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