By Michelle M. Dowd
WINNER OF THE 2009 NWSA SARA A. WHALEY booklet AWARD!! This enlightening publication investigates literature’s engagement with the social and gendered conflicts of early smooth England by way of studying the narratives that seventeenth-century dramatists and ladies writers created to explain the lives of operating ladies. reading texts through such authors as William Shakespeare, Hannah Woolley, Thomas Heywood, Anne Clifford, and others, Dowd considers different types of work—including carrier, wetnursing, and housework—that replaced considerably through the 17th century, producing new literary formulations of women’s monetary, political, and non secular authority. those narratives served an important social functionality, specifically to construe and outline the bounds of girl subjectivity inside a moving and contested hard work economy. This unique examine attests not just to the social importance of women’s paintings in this interval, but in addition extra widely to the dynamic strength of fictional narrative in early glossy England.