Catalogue

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Authority and female authorship in colonial America /
William J. Scheick.
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c1998.
description
x, 150 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0813120543 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c1998.
isbn
0813120543 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
1946236
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-11:
An extension of Scheik's discussion of sacred and secular convergences in Design in Puritan American Literature (CH, Dec'92), this closely argued study examines crucial instances of "logonomic conflict." Scheick (Univ. of Texas) focuses on those uncomfortable literary moments when women employed scriptural language that simultaneously expressed individual thought and accommodated conscious or unconscious resistance to authority. He examines many instances of anxious conflict: Mary English's questioning of Puritan attitudes toward witchcraft while using the language of Christian submission; Anne Bradstreet's apparent valorization of love of family over love of God; Elizabeth Ashbridge's carefully framed apologia, where she justified her move from earthly disobedience to her acceptance of God's plan for her to assume a ministerial role normally held by men. Most interesting is Scheik's case for Phillis Wheatley, who crafted an antislavery argument that shifted the burden of Christian proof to her white neighbors. The author also considers Esther Edwards Burr and the captivity narrative of Elizabeth Hanson. Small and compact, with an excellent index and bibliography, this book joins such similar titles as Amy Lang's Prophetic Women (CH, Jun'87) and American Women Writers to 1800, ed. by Sharon Harris (CH, May'96). Highly recommended for both undergraduates and advanced scholars. J. J. Wydeven; Bellevue University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Addresses the question of how to understand colonial women's writing given the gendered constraints they faced in their creative endeavors." -- American Literature
"Addresses the question of how to understand colonial women's writing given the gendered constraints they faced in their creative endeavors.-- American Literature" -- American Literature
"A provocative book which corroborates some of our earlier ideas about female writing in colonial America and finds some new ways of looking at familiar verse and prose." -- Seventeenth-Century News
"A provocative book which corroborates some of our earlier ideas about female writing in colonial America and finds some new ways of looking at familiar verse and prose.-- Seventeenth-Century News" -- Seventeenth-Century News
"Colonialists and specialists in American women's writing, as well as those who believe in an ethos of looking closely and with respect at the object of study, will come away from this book enriched and encouraged." -- Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"Colonialists and specialists in American women's writing, as well as those who believe in an ethos of looking closely and with respect at the object of study, will come away from this book enriched and encouraged.-- Journal of English and Germanic Philology" -- Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"It is hard to see that criticism can do more: this is a book which should be read by anyone with an interest in colonial writing; I hope it will be turned to by others well beyond the field." -- Journal of American Studies
"It is hard to see that criticism can do more: this is a book which should be read by anyone with an interest in colonial writing; I hope it will be turned to by others well beyond the field.-- Journal of American Studies" -- Journal of American Studies
"Offers material of great interest to students and scholars interested in emergent women's voices in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America." -- Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography
"Offers material of great interest to students and scholars interested in emergent women's voices in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America.-- Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography" -- Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography
"Provocative, tightly argued, and well written.... It models a productive blend of solid historical and cultural contextualizing with the often neglected practice of close, attentive reading." -- William and Mary Quarterly
"Provocative, tightly argued, and well written.... It models a productive blend of solid historical and cultural contextualizing with the often neglected practice of close, attentive reading.-- William and Mary Quarterly" -- William and Mary Quarterly
"Reveals a great deal about the presence of female voices and the struggle between orthodox and individual authority." -- Rocky Mountain Review
"Reveals a great deal about the presence of female voices and the struggle between orthodox and individual authority.-- Rocky Mountain Review" -- Rocky Mountain Review
"Scheick convincingly demonstrates the ways in which these early texts express the uncertainties of female authorization in colonial America." -- The American Cultural Association Journal
"Scheick convincingly demonstrates the ways in which these early texts express the uncertainties of female authorization in colonial America.-- The American Cultural Association Journal" -- The American Cultural Association Journal
"Scheick has made an important and welcome contribution to the growing literature on early American women, writing, and authority." -- New England Quarterly
"Scheick has made an important and welcome contribution to the growing literature on early American women, writing, and authority.-- New England Quarterly" -- New England Quarterly
"Should prove a useful book to a variety of readers. Scheick nuances and complicates past feminist readings of authors like Anne Bradstreet, while contributing new readings of writers like Mary English, Esther Burr, Elizabeth Hanson, and Phillis Wheatley." -- Teresa A. Toulouse
"Should prove a useful book to a variety of readers. Scheick nuances and complicates past feminist readings of authors like Anne Bradstreet, while contributing new readings of writers like Mary English, Esther Burr, Elizabeth Hanson, and Phillis Wheatley.-- Teresa A. Toulouse" -- Teresa A. Toulouse
"Small and compact, with an excellent index and bibliography, this book joins such similar titles as Amy Lang's Prophetic Women and American Women Writers to 1800, ed. by Sharon Harris. Highly recommended for both undergraduates and advanced scholars." -- Choice
"Small and compact, with an excellent index and bibliography, this book joins such similar titles as Amy Lang's Prophetic Women and American Women Writers to 1800, ed. by Sharon Harris. Highly recommended for both undergraduates and advanced scholars.-- Choice" -- Choice
"The book is short, to the point, timely and rooted in careful attention to primary texts." -- South Atlantic Review
"The book is short, to the point, timely and rooted in careful attention to primary texts.-- South Atlantic Review" -- South Atlantic Review
"This is required reading for scholars in the period." -- Year's Work in English Studies
"This is required reading for scholars in the period.-- Year's Work in English Studies" -- Year's Work in English Studies
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1998
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Summaries
Main Description
"""Required reading for scholars in the period." -- Year's Work in English Studies Should women concern themselves with reading other than the Bible? Should women attempt to write at all? Did these activities violate the hierarchy of the universe and men's and women's places in it? Colonial American women relied on the same authorities and traditions as did colonial men, but they encountered special difficulties validating themselves in writing. William Scheick explores logonomic conflict in the works of northeastern colonial women, whose writings often register anxiety not typical of their male contemporaries. This study features the poetry of Mary English and Anne Bradstreet, the letter-journals of Esther Edwards Burr and Sarah Prince, the autobiographical prose of Elizabeth Hanson and Elizabeth Ashbridge, and the political verse of Phyllis Wheatley. These works, along with the writings of other colonial women, provide especially noteworthy instances of bifurcations emanating from American colonial women's conflicted confiscation of male authority. Scheick reveals subtle authorial uneasiness and subtextual tensions caused by the attempt to draw legitimacy from male authorities and traditions. William J. Scheick, J.R. Miliken Centennial Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of Design in Puritan American Literature.
Unpaid Annotation
Should women concern themselves with reading other than the Bible? Should women attempt to write at all? Did these activities violate the hierarchy of the universe and men's and women's places in it?Colonial American women relied on the same male authorities and traditions as did colonial men. As a result, they encountered special difficulties validating themselves in writing.In Authority and Female Authorship in Colonial America, William Scheick explores logonomic conflict in the works of north-eastern colonial women, whose writings often register anxiety not typical of their male contemporaries.Their works provide especially noteworthy instances of bifurcations emanating from American colonial women's conflicted confiscation of male authority. Scheick reveals subtle authorial uneasiness and subtextual tensions caused by the attempt to draw legitimacy from male authorities and traditions.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Authority and Witchery: Cotton Mather's Manual for Women Mary English's Acrosticp. 27
Love and Anger: Anne Bradstreet's Verse Letter to Her Husband Esther Edwards Burr's Letter-Journalp. 51
Captivity and Liberation: Elizabeth Hanson's Captivity Narrative Elizabeth Ashbridge's Autobiographyp. 82
Subjection and Prophecy: Phillis Wheatley's Poetryp. 107
Conclusionp. 128
Works Citedp. 133
Indexp. 146
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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