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Catechisms and Women's Writing in Seventeenth-Century England

Catechisms and Women's Writing in Seventeenth-Century England


  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107198258

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • Catechisms and Women's Writing in Seventeenth-Century England is a study of early modern women's literary use of catechizing. Paula McQuade examines original works composed by women - both in manuscript and print, as well as women's copying and redacting of catechisms - and construction of these materials from other sources. By studying female catechists, McQuade shows how early modern women used the power and authority granted to them as mothers to teach religious doctrine, to demonstrate their linguistic skills, to engage sympathetically with Catholic devotional texts, and to comment on matters of contemporary religious and political import - activities that many scholars have considered the sole prerogative of clergymen. This book addresses the question of women's literary production in early modern England, demonstrating that reading and writing of catechisms were crucial sites of women's literary engagements during this time.

    • Provides an in-depth discussion of six largely unremarked women writers, making this appealing to those interested in the history of women's writing
    • Uses the approach of micro or local history, demonstrating a new way of thinking about female agency, one that looks at women's regional and familial connections
    • Looks at two Protestant women who engaged sympathetically with Catholic devotional works, challenging the scholarly emphasis upon cross-confessional conflict
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Paula McQuade's delightful book, a work of literary scholarship which is not only for literary scholars. Like many of her authors - women whose humanity she never forgets - her professed aims are modest: to add half-a-dozen more minor entries to the emerging canon of early modern women's writing in English, and in the process to persuade us that catechesis deserves to be taken seriously as a literary genre. As it happens, the significance of her work extends a little further than that.' Alec Ryrie, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107198258
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. 'Milk for babes': catechisms and female authorship in early modern England
    Part I. Domestic Catechesis and Female Authorship:
    1. 'Mother bare me': catechisms and maternity in early modern England
    2. 'A tender mother': domestic catechesis in the household devotional of Katherine Fitzwilliam, circa 1603
    Part II. Female Witness and Inter-Confessional Dialogue:
    3. 'At Magdalin's house': maternal catechesis and female witness in the manuscript miscellany of Katherine Thomas (b. 1637)
    4. Catholicism, catechesis, and coterie circulation: the manuscript of Barbara Slingsbury Talbot (b. 1633)
    Part III. Print and Polemic:
    5. 'A knowing people': catechizing and community in Dorothy Burch's A Catechisme of the Severall Heads of the Christian Religion (1646)
    6. Prophecy, catechesis, and community in Mary Cary's The Resurrection of the Witnesses (1648
    reprint 1653)

  • Author

    Paula McQuade, DePaul University, Chicago
    Paula McQuade received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1998. The recipient of a 1996 Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship, McQuade is the author of multiple articles on early modern women and gender. Her article on the female catechist Dorothy Burch was selected as the best article published in 2010 by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Writers. She is also the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award from DePaul University, Chicago.

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