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Cognition and Girlhood in Shakespeare's World
Rethinking Female Adolescence

$99.99 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108844215

$ 99.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This groundbreaking study of girlhood and cognition argues that early moderns depicted female puberty as a transformative event that activated girls' brains in dynamic ways. Mining a variety of genres from Shakespearean plays and medical texts to autobiographical writings, Caroline Bicks shows how 'the change of fourteen years' seemed to gift girls with the ability to invent, judge, and remember what others could or would not. Bicks challenges the presumption that early moderns viewed all female cognition as passive or pathological, demonstrating instead that girls' changing adolescent brains were lightning rods for some of the period's most vital debates about the body and soul, faith and salvation, science and nature, and the place and agency of human perception in the midst of it all.

    • Provides new readings of Shakespeare's girls that make Shakespeare relevant to current debates about female empowerment
    • Gives little-known examples of how early moderns depicted the gendered changes to the brain at puberty
    • Includes a chapter on the rarely discussed autobiographical writings of Catholic pioneer Mary Ward and extensive readings of two rarely studied accounts of Mary Glover's possession
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘… original and imaginative book … Recommended.’ D. Pesta, Choice Connect

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108844215
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.587kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'A spectacle to men and angells': Juliet Capulet and the case of Mary Glover
    2. 'Imagination helps me': liberating brainwork in Comus, Othello, and The Two Noble Kinsmen
    3. 'The progresse of an art': daughters and the invention of new knowledges
    4. 'If I should tell / My history': memory, trauma, and testimony in Pericles and Hamlet
    5. 'Put on the minde': cognitive play in Gallathea, The Winter's Tale, and The Convent of Pleasure
    6. 'From thirteene Yeares … resolved to serve God': Mary Ward's adolescent brainwork.

  • Author

    Caroline Bicks, University of Maine, Orono
    Caroline Bicks is Professor and Stephen E. King Chair in Literature at the University of Maine. She is the author of Midwiving Subjects in Shakespeare's England (2003), the co-editor of The History of British Women's Writing, 1500-1610 (2010), and the co-author of Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas (2015). Her writing has been featured in the Modern Love column of the New York Times and on National Public Radio.

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