The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght: Polemics & Poems Of Rachel Spe

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byRachel SpeghtEditorBarbara Kiefer Lewalski

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Rachel Speght was the first Englishwoman to identify herself, unmistakably and by name, as a polemicist and critic of contemporary gender ideology. This edition includes her foray into the Jacobean gender wars and her collected poems. Speght's tract, A Mouzell for Melastomus (1617), is at oncea spirited answer to Joseph Swetnam's attack on women and a serious effort to stake women's claim to the prevailing Protestant discourse of biblical exegesis, in order to define a more expansive and more equitable concept of gender. Speght's volume of poems, Mortalities Memorandum with a DreamePrefixed (1621)--printed, in part, to counter charges that her prose was actually her father's--includes a long memento mori meditation and an allegorical dream vision that recounts her own rapturous encounter with learning. Both texts vigorously defend women's education and promote women's talents.This latest addition to the Women Writers in English series should find a ready audience among scholars and students of early seventeenth-century literature, history, and religion, as well as among those in women's studies.

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Rachel Speght was the first Englishwoman to identify herself, unmistakably and by name, as a polemicist and critic of contemporary gender ideology. This edition includes her foray into the Jacobean gender wars and her collected poems. Speght's tract, A Mouzell for Melastomus (1617), is at oncea spirited answer to Joseph Swetnam's attac...

Barbara Lewalski is a Professor in the Departments of English and American Literature at Harvard University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.39 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195086155

ISBN - 13:9780195086157

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"Renaissance scholars and their students will welcome Barbara Lewalski's lucid introduction to Speght's works....Readers of Lewalski's earlier work will find the compressed rhetoric of the introduction compelling, appreciating the first appearance of this meticulously edited text. Hermethodology is eclectic, drawing on formalist, generic, historical, and deconstructive terminology in the introductory material."--Renaissance Quarterly