Women Writers of the Seventeenth Century Women Autobiographers - Essay

Women Autobiographers

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Mary Beth Rose (essay date 1986)

SOURCE: "Gender, Genre, and History: Seventeenth-Century English Women and the Art of Autobiography," in Women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Literary and Historical Perspectives, edited by Mary Beth Rose, Syracuse University Press, 1986, pp. 245–78.

[In the following essay, Rose examines the early development of the autobiography, focusing on the memoirs of four women: Margaret Cavendish, Lady Ann Fanshawe, Alice Thornton, and Lady Anne Halkett.]

In the late seventeenth century English women began to write secular autobiography. Largely excluded from the political arena and the professions, Early...

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