Anne Askew Criticism - Essay

Betty Travitsky (essay date 1981)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Travitsky, Betty. “Anne (Askew) Kyme (1521-1546).” In The Paradise of Women: Writings by Englishwomen of the Renaissance, compiled and edited by Betty Travitsky, pp. 167-173. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981.

[In the following essay, Travitsky offers an introduction to Askew's life, provides a historical context for her writings, and discusses the qualities of taciturnity, wit, and fearlessness that are revealed in her works.]

There were many women martyrs in Renaissance England. John Foxe compiled the names of at least forty-six women who were executed because of their religious principles.1 Besides the Protestants, in whom, of course,...

(The entire section is 3660 words.)

Elaine V. Beilin (essay date 1987)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Beilin, Elaine V. “A Challenge to Authority: Anne Askew.” In Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English Renaissance, pp. 29-47. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1987.

[In the following essay, Beilin explores Askew's self-portrait in the Examinations and contrasts it with the depiction offered by John Bale.]

As much as Margaret Roper seems to define the ideal of the learned and virtuous woman as a private, modest, silent being, Anne Askew seems to diverge from it. Converting to the Reformed church, Askew continually raised her voice in public to bear witness to her faith, and in so doing, defied not only her husband, but the whole...

(The entire section is 7532 words.)

Elaine V. Beilin (essay date 1991)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Beilin, Elaine V. “Anne Askew's Dialogue with Authority.” In Contending Kingdoms: Historical, Psychological, and Feminist Approaches to the Literature of Sixteenth-Century England and France, edited by Marie-Rose Logan and Peter L. Rudnytsky, pp. 313-22. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.

[In the following essay, Beilin maintains that the Examinations use Askew's doubly marginal status as a Reformer and a woman to turn the tables on her Catholic, male interrogators by revealing their errors in thinking and focusing the attention of her readers on her own spiritual victory.]

Responding to the “good people” who were expecting to hear the...

(The entire section is 4172 words.)

Paula McQuade (essay date 1994)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: McQuade, Paula. “‘Except That They Had Offended the Lawe’: Gender and Jurisprudence in The Examinations of Anne Askew.Literature and History 3, no. 2 (autumn 1994): 1-14.

[In the following essay, McQuade points out that Askew's Examinations reveal that she was aware that, unlike English civil courts, the ecclesiastical courts viewed her as a subject with legal rights at least equal to those of men.]

We owe The Examinations of Anne Askew to an intermediate source—the Protestant bishop John Bale.1 While waiting out the uncertain English political climate in the Protestant outpost of Wesel, Germany, John Bale saw into...

(The entire section is 6552 words.)

John N. King (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: King, John N. “Introductory Note.” In The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works, Part 1: Printed Writings 1555-1640, Volume 1, Anne Askew, pp. ix-xi. Aldershot, Hants: Scolar Press, 1996.

[In the following excerpt, King maintains that, contrary to John Bale's depiction in his commentaries on the Examinations, Askew was a strong person who violated the patriarchal expectations of silent and obedient women.]

Anne Askew (1521-1546) was accused of heresy because of her denial of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and ritual of the mass. According to her own account, her husband, Thomas Kyme, drove her from their...

(The entire section is 862 words.)

Elaine V. Beilin (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Beilin, Elaine V. Introduction to The Examinations of Anne Askew, edited by Elaine V. Beilin, pp. xv-xliii. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Beilin provides a brief description of Askew's works and a short account of her life, sets the historical context for her martyrdom, surveys the background of the editions of the Examinations, and discusses the reputation of her life and work from the time of her death to the late twentieth century.]

Anne Askew (ca. 1521-1546) could have lived a prosperous, conventional life as a gentlewoman in Lincolnshire. Instead, she broke the law and defied the rules of her society: converting...

(The entire section is 10649 words.)

Thomas Betteridge (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Betteridge, Thomas. “Anne Askewe, John Bale, and Protestant History.” The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 27, no. 2 (spring 1997): 265-84.

[In the following essay, Betteridge examines the cultural conflicts reflected in the relation between Askew's interpretation of herself and that of her editor, John Bale.]

Anne Askewe was burned as a heretic in 1546, having been found guilty of denying the doctrine of transubstantiation. Askewe's place in history has been largely constructed within a narrative that views her first-person accounts of her examinations, and her martyrdom, as being important for the light they shed on the doctrinal struggles and...

(The entire section is 8099 words.)

Krista Kesselring (essay date 1998)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Kesselring, Krista. “Representations of Women in Tudor Historiography: John Bale and the Rhetoric of Exemplarity.” Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Reforme XXII, no. 2 (spring 1998): 41-61.

[In the following essay, Kesselring examines John Bale's appropriation of texts by Askew and Princess Elizabeth to show how he created a place for women in the new Protestant history and advocated a public role for women.]

John Bale, a Carmelite friar turned reformer, appropriated the writings of two women for the uses of protestant polemic. These works, Anne Askew's account of the interrogations that would lead to her death at the stake, and the Princess...

(The entire section is 9114 words.)