Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook: Constructions of Femininity in England

Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook: Constructions of Femininity in England

Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook: Constructions of Femininity in England

Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook: Constructions of Femininity in England

Synopsis

Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook is an invaluable collection of critically-informed accounts of women and femininity in early modern England. The volume is divided thematically into nine sections, each with an accessible introduction, notes on sources and an annotated bibliography. The sections are: * Theology * Biology * Conduct * Sexuality and Motherhood * Politics and Law * Education * Work * Writing and Speaking * Feminism Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook brings together sources ranging from medical documents and political pamphlets to sermons and the Bible, as well as a wide and intriguing range of literary sources. Providing a historical context to issues of gender in the Renaissance, it will be essential reading for students of the period, gender studies and cultural history.

Excerpt

In 1591 Philip Stubbes published the first edition of what was to become an extremely popular devotional biography, A crystal glass for Christian women (ch. 8). It opens thus:

Calling to remembrance (most Christian reader) the final end of man’s creation, which is to glorify God, and to edify one another in the way of true godliness: I thought it my duty, as well in respect of the one as in regard of the other, to publish this rare and wonderful example of the virtuous life and Christian death of Mistress Katherine Stubbes who, whilst she lived, was a mirror of womanhood and now, being dead, is a perfect pattern of true Christianity. She was descended of honest and wealthy parents. Her father had borne divers offices of worship in his company, amongst whom he lived in great account, credit and estimation all his days: he was zealous in the truth, and of a sound religion. Her mother was a Dutchwoman, both discreet and wise, of singular good grace and modesty and, which did most to adorn her, she was both religious and also zealous…. At fifteen years of age, her father being dead, her mother bestowed her in marriage to one Master Philip Stubbes with whom she lived four years and almost a half very honestly and godly, with rare commendation of all that knew her, as well for her singular wisdom, as also for her modesty, courtesy, gentleness, affability and good government; and above all for her fervent zeal which she bore to the truth, wherein she seemed to surpass many in so much as if she chanced at any time to be in place where either Papists or atheists were and heard them talk of religion, what countenance or credit soever they seemed to be of, she would not yield a jot, nor give place to them at all, but would most mightily justify the truth of God against their blasphemous untruths, and convince them, yea, and confound them by the testimonies of the word of God.

Stubbes transposes himself from husband to narrator from the beginning of this . . .

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