Publication Date: 1996-09-01
God's Englishwomen investigates the writings of women in the radical sects of the seventeenth century through the lens of feminist literary criticism. It confirms the significance of these remarkable texts for contemporary literary studies and contributes to the dialogue between feminism and Renaissance studies. Hilary Hinds introduces readers to new primary sources and presents them in a relevant and accessible way to the twentieth-century reader. This book offers a detailed study of the spiritual autobiographies and prophecies produced by Quaker, Baptist and Fifth Monarchist women, and asks how such a proliferation of texts was produced in a culture dismissive of women's writing. Each chapter introduces new material through a discussion of existing critical and theoretical work on the gendering of authors, texts and readers respectively. Finally, the appendices reproduce substantial selections from previously unavailable seventeenth-century texts discussed in the book.