Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England traces networks of female book ownership and exchange which have so far been obscure, and shows how women were responsible for both owning and circulating devotional books. In seven narratives of individual women who lived between 1350 and 1550, Mary Erler illustrates the ways in which women read and the routes by which they passed books from hand to hand. These stories are prefaced by an overview of nuns' reading and their surviving books, and are followed by a survey of women who owned the first printed books in England. An appendix lists a number of books not previously attributed to religious women's ownership. Erler's narratives also provide studies of female friendship, since they situate women's reading in a network of family and social connections. The book uses bibliography to explore social and intellectual history.
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(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Mary C. Erler
Mary Erler is Professor of English at Fordham University. She has edited the work of the Tudor poet Robert Copland (1993) and has co-edited Women and Power in the Middle Ages (1988). She has written on devotional literature in L. Hellinga and J. B. Trapp (eds.), Cambridge History of the Book, Vol. 3, 1400-1557 (1999). Her essays have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, Viator, The Library, Modern Philology, Medieval Studies, Medium Aewm, and other journals.