Women Writers of the Seventeenth Century Women's Diaries - Essay

Women's Diaries

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Sara Heller Mendelson (essay date 1985)

SOURCE: "Stuart Women's Diaries and Occasional Memoirs," in Women in English Society, 1500-1800, edited by Mary Prior, Methuen, 1985, pp. 181-210.

[In the following essay, Mendelson discusses the historical and sociological significance of women's diaries during the seventeenth century.]

Sources that offer a direct record of women's everyday experience for the Stuart period are neither abundant nor easy to find. To be sure, there is plenty of contemporary material about women. Sermons and conduct books, plays and pamphlets all claimed to delineate women's true nature and prescribe their ideal role....

(The entire section is 8428 words.)