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Poetic Resistance 9780754607809

Poetic Resistance

English Women Writers and the Early Modern Lyric

ISBN-10: 0754607801
ISBN-13: 9780754607809
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Pamela Hammons' study contributes to the booming field of early modern women writers by contextualizing and analyzing a unique configuration of underexamined women's texts. By examining how seventeenth-century English women's composition of lyrics intersects significantly with the social experiences of the writers, this book challenges assumptions that have limited the study of early modern women's writing and reveals the power of lyrics in women's reconceiving or changing of their positions in society. Here Hammons reconsiders how generic conventions were employed as a means by which women writers could borrow from socially sanctioned poetic traditions to express potentially subversive views of their social roles as mothers, religious leaders, widows, and poets. Although the narrative concentrates on early modern lyrics, it also treats contemporary plays, epics, prose polemics, conversion narratives, religious treatises, newsbook articles, and Biblical texts in building its arguments.The study focuses on the social dimension of women's writing when that writing seems especially insular and when it does not fit neatly into the patterns of interaction predominantly followed by male writers. She reveals how-despite their appearances of self-enclosure-these poems enable their respective poets to rethink or even change their respective positions in society, and to add their own innovations to the history of the lyric. Hammons combines her study of the poetry of such figures as Katherine Philips and Aemilia Lanyer with that of the less well known Mary Carey and Gertrude Aston Thimelby; she engages with canonical male poets such as Ben Jonson and John Milton, as well as with little known ones such as George Payler and Vavasor Powell.Hammons demonstrates how seventeenth-century women's composition of lyrics intersects significantly with the social experiences of these women. She describes how Mary Carey, through her child loss poetry, resists the blame her society ascribed to mothers of dead children. She discusses how Anna Trapnel strategically uses her psalm-singing to present herself, in public, as a preacher. And she outlines how the widow Katherine Austen-whose 35 poems in her Book M have not before received significant scholarly attention, but which expand and complicate current knowledge about early modern women's reading and writing practices-employs her lyrics to oppose her culture's pervasive demonization of widows.This study engages extensively with issues concerning manuscript and social texts in the context of print culture through the close examination of a variety of textual practices. It provides a thorough yet subtle grounding in recent feminist criticism, the social history of the family, and the history of authorship practices.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
198
CATEGORY: Literary Criticism, Poetry, Social Science
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