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Patricia Phillippy examines the crucial literal and figurative roles played by women in death and mourning during the early modern period. Using funerary, liturgical, and lamentational practices; as well as diaries, poems and plays; she illustrates the consistent gendering of rival styles of grief in post-Reformation England. Phillippy utilizes a wide range of published and archival material dating from the Reformation to the seventeenth century, to provide a study of appeal to cultural and literary historians.Read more
- The topics of death, mourning and grief in the early modern period are examined with lucidity
- Examines the gendered culture of grief in post-Reformation England
- Should be of interest to cultural historians as well as literary scholars
Reviews & endorsements
"Phillippy illuminates the complexity of interacting forces contributing both to the development of gendered norms and to the opportunities they could provide to early modern women. This is a thoughtful, creative study...Phillippy is impressive in her historicist approach to her chosen texts...Her book's value...also lies in its eclecticism. It will surely stimulate future scholarship following different trajectories. This complex, careful, and wide-ranging work will appeal to a broad, if advanced audience, while also serving as a corrective to more simplistic explorations of the relationship between gendered norms, historical context, and cultural expression." Megan L. Hickerson, King's College, London, Canadian Journal of HistorySee more reviews
"Patricia Phillippy's study is recommended for its breadth, its conceptual clarity, and its engagement with complex and subtle aspects of cultural history, gender studies, and, more marginally, biography." Biography
"Impeccably researched and impressively detailed [...] Phillippy makes a rewarding contribution to intellectual history." Studies in English Literature
"In discussing her thesis of women's empwerment, the author combines fascinating pieces of history involving embalming, tomb sculpture, and inheritance with the literature of consolation and mourning.... Phillippy offers good comments on texts by Ameilia Lanyer and Rachel Speght, and on many other topics; her book will repay the attention of scholars of Elizabethan and Stuart literature and culture." Choice
"This learned and stimulating book has much to offer both literary critics and cultural historians of early modern England." Renaissance Quarterly
"...wide-ranging and perceptive...The book is a stimulating and original contribution to a fast-growing field in need of the kinds of directions laid out so clearly and elegantly here...Women, Death and Literature is clearly written, well researched, and beautifully produced - it is a pleasure to use. Patricia Phillippy has written a very good book indeed, one to which early modern scholars will be indebted for many years to come." Albion
"[Phillippy] excavates valuable and wide-ranging documents on women's involvement in death and dying, and carefully distinguishes between women's self-representations and other cultural constructions. Moreover, she maintains a carefully nuanced understanding of public and private roles often oversimplified in studies of early modern women's lives and works....Phillippy offers a valuable model for historicizing affect and provides an important service for literary critics and historians of the early modern period through her extensive archival research." H-WOMEN
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- Date Published: January 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521126182
- length: 324 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.48kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
1. A map of death
Part I. Disposing of the Body:
2. The body of history: embalming and historiography in Shakespeare's Henry VIII
3. Humility and stoutness: the lives an deaths of Christian women
4. London's mourning garment: maternity, mourning and succession in Shakespeare's Richard III
Part II. Sisters of Magdalene:
5. 'I might againe have been the sepulcure': maternal mourning and the encrypted corpse
6. 'Quod licuit feci': Elizabeth Russell and the power of mourning
7. The mat(t)er of death: the defense of Eve and the female Ars Morendi
Codicil: 'A web of blacke'
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