Representing Women in Renaissance England

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Claude J. Summers, Ted-Larry Pebworth
University of Missouri Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 250 pages
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Focusing on women as writers and as subjects of Renaissance nondramatic literature, the fifteen original essays in this volume share the belief that hierarchically ordered male-female relations influence nearly all aspects of human social relations, including those that are apparently not gendered at all. Some of the essays participate in the exciting process of recovering and evaluating women writers whose works are only now entering the canon of English literature, while others examine gender issues in male-authored canonical texts. The contributors to Representing Women in Renaissance England, some of whom are the most distinguished scholars currently active in the field of Renaissance studies, offer correctives to oversimplified views of women in Renaissance literature, frequently questioning received ideas about patriarchy and about women's responses to their varied positions within a society whose hierarchies were configured according to multiple considerations. In their varied approaches and distinct conclusions, these essays contribute significantly to a fuller understanding of the representation of women - by both male and female writers - in the Renaissance. In doing so, they illuminate particular texts and specific writers and call attention to recurrent themes. Perhaps more fundamental, however, they reveal the extent to which basic gender issues are at the very heart of Renaissance literature.

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About the author (1997)

Summers is William E. Stirton Professor in the Humanities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Pebworth is William E. Stirton Professor in the Humanities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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