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Being and seeming : the shaping of the woman writer in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century print

Askey, Elizabeth Ann (2012) Being and seeming : the shaping of the woman writer in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century print. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86476) (KAR id:86476)


This work explores ways in which early modem women writers were presented in their printed books within the literary landscape of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It consists of a survey of the typographical presentation of title pages and front 'matter in printed texts, identifying rhetorically feminine self-constructions which allow the writers to negotiate their way to publication. This survey also provides a historical context for the close reading of two case studies: Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611) and Elizabeth Cary'sThe Tragedie of Mariam, The Faire Queene of Jewry (1613), together with examination of some extant copies. Early modem women writers seem to present themselves as stereotypically ideal and modest in order to be writers who are able to reach readers of the printed word. They are able to use the idea of femininity as a source of strength and as part of a wilful strategy in a fictive self-construction to fulfil readers' expectations of an ideal woman's writings, The survey suggests that the physical presentations of their books are constructed in the full awareness of these strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86476
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: women writers
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:53 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 11:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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