Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England
By (author) Professor James Daybell
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Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England by Professor James Daybell
Book DescriptionThis book represents the most comprehensive study of women's letters and letter-writing during the early modern period so far undertaken, and acts as an important corrective to traditional ways of reading and discussing letters as private, elite, male, and non-political. Based on over 3,000 manuscript letters, it shows that letter-writing was a larger and more socially diversified area of female activity than has been hitherto assumed. In that letters constitute the largest body of extant sixteenth-century women's writing, the book initiates a reassessment of women's education and literacy in the period. As indicators of literacy, letters yield physical evidence of rudimentary writing activity and abilities, document 'higher' forms of female literacy, and highlight women's mastery of formal rhetorical and epistolary conventions. The book also stresses that letters are unparalleled as intimate and immediate records of family relationships, and as media for personal and self-reflective forms of female expression. Read as documents that inscribe social and gender relations, letters shed light on the complex range of women's personal relationships, as female power and authority fluctuated, negotiated on an individual basis. Furthermore, correspondence highlights the important political roles played by early modern women. Female letter-writers were integral in cultivating and maintaining patronage and kinship networks; they were active as suitors for crown favour, and operated as political intermediaries and patrons in their own right, using letters to elicit influence. Letters thus help to locate differing forms of female power within the family, locality and occasionally on the wider political stage, and offer invaluable primary evidence from which to reconstruct the lives of early modern women.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199259915
(242mm x 162mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 29-Jun-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Professor James Daybell
Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450-1690, Hardback (June 2016)
Examines the gendered nature of women's letter-writing in England and Ireland from the late-Elizabethan period through to the Restoration. This title builds upon recent approaches to the letter, both rhetorical and material, that have the power to transform the ways in which we understand, study and more.
Manuscript Miscellanies in Early Modern England, Hardback (August 2014)
Perhaps more than any other kind of book, manuscript miscellanies require a complex and 'material' reading strategy. This collection of essays models and refines the study of these complicated volumes. Using extensive textual and bibliographical evidence, it offers stimulating new readings of literature.
Ovidian Bibliofictions and the Tudor Book, Hardback (August 2014)» View all books by Professor James Daybell
Focusing on the postclassical discourses that Ovid's poetry stimulated, this study explores how Ovid's English proteges - including Isabella Whitney, William Shakespeare and Michael Drayton - replicated and expanded upon the Roman poet's distinctive and frequently remarked 'bookishness' in their own adaptations of his works.
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Author Biography - Professor James Daybell
James Daybell is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Plymouth. He is the editor of Early Modern Women's Letter-Writing, 1450-1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001; winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women award for best collaborative project, 2002), and Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), and has published numerous articles on early modern social and cultural history.
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