Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Women during the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity/Women's Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485-1603: Authority, Influence and Material Culture

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Women during the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity/Women's Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485-1603: Authority, Influence and Material Culture

Article excerpt

Women during the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity. By Julie A. Chappell and Kaley A. Kramer, eds. (New York: Palgrave, 2014, Pp. ix, 198. $74.99, ebook; $95.00, cloth); Women's Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485-1603: Authority, Influence and Material Culture. By Susan E. James. (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2015, Pp. 332. $129.95.)

The study of women in the English Reformation (s) in general, and of Tudor-era women in particular, are the focus of two books which add insightful dimensions to our knowledge of the period. Women during the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity, edited by Julie A. Chappell and Kaley A. Kramer, is a collection of essays on how both Protestant and Roman Catholic women reinvented their spiritual and gendered spaces during the reformations in England. Some of the articles focus on specific women, such as Margaret Pole, Elizabeth Cary, Eleanor Davies, and Katherine of Aragon., others focus on topics such as religious thinking found in women's letters, early modern book dedications, and gothic literature. An innovative article in this collection in William B. Robison's work on the representation of Tudor Royal Women in film, 1895-2014. Overall, the anthology portrays a range of English women's religious engagement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and is a good investment.

Perhaps the most in depth and scholarly book of the two, and also the most recently published, is Women's Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485-1603: Authority, Influence and Material Culture, by independent scholar and historian Susan E. James. James is also the author of the major critical biography of Katherine Parr, namely, Katherine Parr: The Making of a Queen (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 1999). Women's Voices is characterized by the same deliberate and extensive research in primary sources as James' earlier monographs, in addition to her ability to use these sources to make a clear and compelling argument. …

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