The Polemics of Rachel Speght
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The Polemics of Rachel Speght

3.66 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Rachel Speght (1597?-?) is the first Englishwoman to identify herself, unapologetically and by name as a polemicist and critic of contemporary gender ideology. Her tract, A Mouzell for Melastomus (1617), is at once a spirited answer to Joseph Swetnam's very popular treatise attacking women (1617) and also a serious effort to stake women's claim to prevailing Protestant discourse of biblical exegesis, forcing it to yield a more expansive and more suitable concept of women's nature and role. Her volume of poetry, Mortalities Memorandum, with a Dreame Prefixed (1612), includes a long memento mori mediation and an allegorical dream vision that recounts her own rapturous encounter with learning. Both vigorously defend women's education and the encouragement of women's talent.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 139.2 x 207.3 x 11.4mm | 149.29g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195086155
  • 9780195086157

Back cover copy

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.show more

Review quote

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. Her methodology is eclectic, drawing on formalist, generic, historical, and deconstructive terminology in the introductory material. * Renaissance Quarterly * As is true in general of the editors in this series, Lewalski's edition of The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght is an informative and accessible text for both specialists and non-specialists. Her thoughtful commentary and notes open up the texts for scholars, providing insight into Speght's literary and social milieux and assistance with her vocabulary and sources. It is an important addition to the canon of pamphlets concerned with the formal controversy over woman in England during this period. * Seventeenth Century News * 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. Her methodology is eclectic, drawing on formalist, generic, historical, and deconstructive terminology in the introductory material. * Renaissance Quarterly * As is true in general of the editors in this series, Lewalski's edition of The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght is an informative and accessible text for both specialists and non-specialists. Her thoughtful commentary and notes open up the texts for scholars, providing insight into Speght's literary and social milieux and assistance with her vocabulary and sources. It is an important addition to the canon of pamphlets concerned with the formal controversy over woman in England during this period. * Seventeenth Century News *show more

About Rachel Speght

Barbara Lewalski is a Professor in the Departments of English and American Literature at Harvard University.show more

Rating details

12 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 17% (2)
4 50% (6)
3 17% (2)
2 17% (2)
1 0% (0)
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