Women, Death and Literature in Post-Reformation England

Women, Death and Literature in Post-Reformation England

by Patricia Phillippy


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Through studies of early modern texts that reflect the actual and symbolic roles of mourning women in post-Reformation England, Phillippy (English, Texan A&M U.) argues that feminine responses to death were stigmatized as communal, excessive, physical, and sexual—counter to the (male) ideal of stoic, spiritual acceptance of death. Her readings span works by women authors including Aemelia Lanyer and Elizabeth Russell; male-authored discourses on women's good deaths; and literature in which maternity and mourning intersect, e.g., Shakespeare's Richard III. Embalming serves as a metaphor for these complex, gendered associations with death. Illustrations include period portraits and tombs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521126182
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/14/2010
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 324
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Patricia Phillippy is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Love's Remedies: Recantation and Renaissance Lyric Poetry (1995).

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsviii
1A map of death15
Part IDisposing of the Body49
2The body of history: embalming and historiography in Shakespeare's Henry VIII54
3Humility and stoutness: the lives and deaths of Christian women81
4London's mourning garment: maternity, mourning, and succession in Shakespeare's Richard III109
Part IISisters of Magdalene139
5"I might againe have been the Sepulcure": maternal mourning and the encrypted corpse143
6"Quod licuit feci": Elizabeth Russell and the power of public mourning179
7The mat(t)er of death: the defense of Eve and the female ars moriendi211
Codicil: "a web of blacke"242

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