Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers

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The increased attention to women's literature of the early modern period has reinvigorated literary study, not by supplanting the traditional canon but by renewing our interest in it. As the volume editors note, Teaching Spenser's The Faerie Queene is a richer experience when one also teaches Wroth's Urania. Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers summarizes the latest scholarship on British women writers who lived from roughly 1500 to 1700 and suggests strategies for presenting their works in the classroom. Thirty-six essays discuss frequently anthologized pieces by such women as Margaret Cavendish, Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney, and Mary Wroth as well as the writings of women who have come to the notice of scholars only recently. The volume addresses women's roles in early modern society and women's limited access to education and opportunities for writing; provides background for understanding literary, religious, historical, and social texts; gives biographies of certain writers; lists texts suitable for presentation in the undergraduate classroom; suggests models for lower-level surveys as well as semester-length graduate seminars; and details the availability of primary sources.