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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anthologies of Early Modern Women's Writing

Have you come across any good ones? I'm looking for more than just a Penguin Classic, but something affordable nonetheless, for an undergraduate seminar. Cross-genre, 1500-1700. Tips?

  • At 11/28/2006 03:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Paul Salzman's Early Modern Women's Writing, 1560-1700 from Oxford is nice.


  • At 11/28/2006 04:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

  • At 11/28/2006 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    Is that a picture of an early modern woman writing? She looks like she might have been born in the 17th century...


  • At 11/29/2006 12:45:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    And then there's the Brown Women Writers Project (subscription needed). If your university has access to it, it's a great resource, with generally well-edited texts and good, brief introductions to them.


  • At 11/29/2006 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Greenwit wrote…

    I'm actually leaning towards the Salzman right now, but I'm curious about the web resources, which are so obviously superior to (and more diverse than) what's available in print. I say this not as a rah-rah web guy -- like many of you, I insistently steer my students away from random google searches and wikipedia as they do their research. That said, sites like those Sharon and H have pointed out are fantastic. They bring up a host of pedagogical questions, however, most of them having to do with in-class work. The class I'm teaching is a seminar (20 students), which means we'll be doing a ton of close reading together, something that demands everyone having texts in front of them. Do I remind them, again and again, to print out the reading for that particular class? Do I bring a projector into the seminar room and zap things up on the wall? Is it worth it for me to make reams and reams of copies to bring to class (since you *know* half the students will have either not done the reading or not remembered to print it out)?

    I guess I've now started a "Teaching with Web Resources 101" thread, and it's likely that these kinds of issues were settled back in the late 1990s. But I'm curious if anyone has depended on online texts for a substantive portion of a lit seminar, and if so, how you solved the 'shared text in class' problem.


  • At 11/29/2006 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Would it be possible to put them on reserve at the library, either electronically or with hard copies? For a class of twenty students, it shouldn't be that hard for all of them to print out or copy the relevant poems. (And by "that hard," I mean most will probably succeed most of the time.)


  • At 11/29/2006 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    I've used an anthology called Half Humankind: Contexts and Texts of the Controversy in England 1540-1640, ed. Katherine Henderson and Barbara McManus as both a student and an instructor. It's not the most comprehensive, but it has a lot of stuff from the pamphlet wars as well as some mothers' manuals excerpts.

    As long as your institution has readily available computer labs with working printers, posting materials online as pdfs seems perfectly reasonable. You will have to remind them to actually print, read, and bring the copies to class, but a little hectoring never hurt anyone.


  • At 11/29/2006 01:58:00 PM, Blogger bdh wrote…

    For women's writing in general, might I suggest Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550-1700, ed. Ostovich, Sauer, and Smith (Routledge, 2004). There's also a selection of texts in the Norton 16th/17th Century volume, including extracts from the pamphlet wars in the 1620s, as well as the usual suspects (Cary, Lanyer, Wroth, Cavendish, Bradstreet, etc.) As a contextual introduction to the issues about or concerning women, Kate Aughterson's Renaissance Woman: Constructions of Femininity in English (Routledge, 1995) is accessible and in modern spelling.

    For more poetry, there are a number of anthologies. Most recently is Early Modern Women Poets, 1520-1700, ed. Stevenson and Davidson (Oxford UP, 2001). The Salzman collection is pretty good. Avoid Women Poets of the Renaissance, ed. Wynne-Davies (Dent, 1998) - the footnotes are hidden in the back and, if you find them, are frustratingly superfluous and unhelpful.

    While not wanting to toot the web horn (as opposed to the inkhorn?) I'd venture that most of the poems you'd think to include in the course will be available online, whether freely (such as at Representative Poetry Online, or the links Sharon posted) or by subscription (e.g. LION, the Brown WWP, etc). The trouble with these (in my opinion) is consistency (is it a diplomatic transcription or modernized?) and the lack of annotations and commentary that are usually useful for student readers.


  • At 11/29/2006 02:04:00 PM, Blogger bdh wrote…

    Forgot to mention the Early Modern Women Database. Nice selection of links indexed by period and location. Some free, some subscription.


  • At 11/29/2006 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    This is why blogs are awesome. When I teach women's writing, I have no research to do for my book order!


  • At 11/29/2006 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    I shouldn't admit this, but the picture accompanying this post made me laugh out loud when I first saw it (and I continue to smile when I see it). Not only is this something I don't usually do, but it's something I really shouldn't do in front of students I'm ostensibly meeting with (Her: "Are you laughing at me?" Me: "No, no, sorry--my mom just sent me a funny email. I'll close my computer. Sorry about that.")


  • At 11/30/2006 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Greenwit wrote…

    thanks for all the tips, folks. I'm going to take a closer look at the "half-humankind" volume, st.eph... might work better than salzman in the end. I'm sure I'll have updates along the way once the semester kicks into gear.

    And I'm glad s. likes the early modern woman writing. I was browsing through clip art that popped up on an image search for "woman writing" and she fairly screamed "I'm early modern!" at me. I've decided that when I get to be her age, I'm going to begin to refer to myself as early modern. As in, "when I was growing up watching early modern television" and "the early modern Yankees were a team with heart, unlike their Restoration descendants" and such.


  • At 11/30/2006 02:54:00 PM, Blogger Pamphilia wrote…

    Another vote for Reading Early Modern Women.

    For a large multi-volume source I also like the Betty Travitsky et al. series The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Library of Essential Works.

    And even though it's not all women, I'm interested in checking out Travitsky and Anne Lake Prescott's anthology Female and Male Voices in Early Modern England.


  • At 12/01/2006 03:30:00 AM, Blogger bdh wrote…

    @ muse: I wasn't impressed with Female and Male Voices. I bought a copy for $3. If you still feel the desire to own it I'll be happy to liberate some departmental envelopes and mail it to you ; )


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