Catalogue


Women, beauty and power in early modern England : a feminist literary history /
Edith Snook.
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
description
x, 230 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0230282857 (hardback), 9780230282858 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
isbn
0230282857 (hardback)
9780230282858 (hardback)
contents note
Cosmetics. 'The beautifying part of physic' : women's cosmetic practices in early modern England -- 'Soveraigne receipts', fair beauty, and race in Stuart England -- Clothes. The greatness in good clothes : fashioning subjectivity in Mary Wroth's Urania and Margaret Spencer's account book -- What not to wear : children's clothes and the maternal advice of Elizabeth Jocelin and Brilliana, Lady Harley -- Hair. The culture of the head : hair in Mary Wroth's Urania and Margaret Cavendish's 'Assaulted and pursued chastity' -- An 'absolute Mistris of her Self' : Anne Clifford and the luxury of hair.
abstract
"Divided into three sections on cosmetics, clothes and hairstyling, this book explores how early modern women regarded beauty culture and in what waysskin, clothes and hair could be used to represent racial, class and gender identities, and to convey political, religious and philosophical ideals"--
catalogue key
7631840
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Edith Snook is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. She is the author of Women, Reading and the Cultural Politics of Early Modern England (2005) and has contributed a chapter to the Palgrave volume The History of Women's Writing 1500-1610.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-10-01:
Engaging, thoughtful, and insightful, this book offers an entirely new approach to the writings and lives of early modern women. Snook (Univ. of New Brunswick, Canada) takes beauty as a subject for serious academic study and examines both literary and nonliterary texts, including works by Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn, Queen Henrietta Maria's masques, recipe collections, and account books. By drawing from such a wide array of sources, Snook is able to create a picture of how women viewed elements of beauty, specifically complexion, hair, and clothing (she devotes a section to each of these). She presents intelligent, compelling evidence that reveals how women used beauty as a tool and sign as they navigated a male-dominated world. Snook proves that complexion, hair, and clothing were understood to have political, class, and racial elements and that women deployed them in their own lives and in their fiction for reasons that had nothing to do with attracting male attention. Perhaps the only flaw in this "feminist literary history" is the lack of an in-depth conclusion that would pull the three sections together, but otherwise this is an outstanding book, utterly scholarly but clearly written. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.. A. Castaldo Widener University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'A masterful, eloquent, and convincing interpretation of the early modern culture of beauty which has vast implications for myriad areas of critical and historical interest beyond this topic alone.' - Patricia Phillippy, Kingston University, UK
‘A masterful, eloquent, and convincing interpretation of the early modern culture of beauty which has vast implications for myriad areas of critical and historical interest beyond this topic alone.’- Patricia Phillippy, Kingston University, UK
"A masterful, eloquent, and convincing interpretation of the early modern culture of beauty which has vast implications for myriad areas of critical and historical interest beyond this topic alone."--Patricia Phillippy, Kingston University, UK
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This book considers cosmetics, clothing and hairstyles in manuscript and printed texts by women in early modern England.
Long Description
In early modern England, beautiful women occupied a central cultural place. As subjects of poetry and painting by men, Sidney "s Stella, Spenser "s Elizabeth, and Shakespeare "s Dark Lady are well known. We know much less about how early modern women regarded beauty culture. Divided into three sections, on cosmetics, clothes, and hairstyling, individual chapters focus on fiction by Aphra Behn, Mary Wroth, and Margaret Cavendish, advice by Elizabeth Jocelin, Queen Henrietta "s Maria "s masques and a printed volume of recipes, and manuscript writing ”domestic recipe collections, account books, letters, and historical chronicles-by Margaret Spencer, Brilliana Harley, Anne Clifford, and others. Through beauty practices, women developed their knowledge of medicine and employed their understanding of the body "s cultural meanings. Skin, clothes, and hair could be used to represent racial, class, and gender identities, to convey political, religious, and philosophical ideals, and to question how literature commonly represented women as objects of desire.
Long Description
In early modern England, beautiful women occupied a central cultural place. As subjects of poetry and painting by men, Sidney's Stella, Spenser's Elizabeth, and Shakespeare's Dark Lady are well known. We know much less about how early modern women regarded beauty culture. Divided into three sections, on cosmetics, clothes, and hairstyling, individual chapters focus on fiction by Aphra Behn, Mary Wroth, and Margaret Cavendish, advice by Elizabeth Jocelin, Queen Henrietta's Maria's masques and a printed volume of recipes, and manuscript writing'”domestic recipe collections, account books, letters, and historical chronicles-by Margaret Spencer, Brilliana Harley, Anne Clifford, and others. Through beauty practices, women developed their knowledge of medicine and employed their understanding of the body's cultural meanings. Skin, clothes, and hair could be used to represent racial, class, and gender identities, to convey political, religious, and philosophical ideals, and to question how literature commonly represented women as objects of desire.
Main Description
Divided into three sections on cosmetics, clothes and hairstyling, this book explores how early modern women regarded beauty culture and in what ways skin, clothes and hair could be used to represent racial, class and gender identities, and to convey political, religious and philosophical ideals.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. x
Introductionp. 1
'Nature's Coin': The Traditions of Early Modern Beautyp. 2
Beauty's Practices: A Feminist Literary Historyp. 6
'The Poetry of Women'p. 13
Cosmeticsp. 19
'The Beautifying Part of Physic': Women's Cosmetic Practices in Early Modern Englandp. 21
The 'Choicest and Select'd Receps' of Womenp. 22
Mercury's Artistsp. 28
Conclusionp. 35
'Soveraigne Receipts', Fair Beauty and Race in Stuart Englandp. 38
Physic and the Queen's Amazonian Beauty in Salmacida Spoliap. 40
The Politics of Beauty in The Queens Closet Openedp. 47
Whiteness in Aphra Behn's The Wandring Beautyp. 52
Conclusionp. 60
Clothesp. 63
The Greatness in Good Clothes: Fashioning Subjectivity in Mary Wrath's Urania and Margaret Spencer's Account Book (BL Add. MS 62092)p. 65
How Clothes Make the Womanp. 68
A 'Princesse without a Country, cloathes, or servants' in the Uraniap. 70
Inwardness and Economics in Margaret Spencer's Account Bookp. 76
Conclusionp. 84
What Not to Wear: Children's Clothes and the Maternal Advice of Elizabeth Jocelin and Brilliana, Lady Harleyp. 86
The Governance of Clothingp. 87
Elizabeth Jocelin Against the 'Fashionists'p. 95
Brilliana, Lady Harley, and the 'Garment of Holiness'p. 103
Conclusionp. 110
Hairp. 113
The Culture of the Head: Hair in Mary Wroth's Urania and Margaret Cavendish's 'Assaulted and Pursued Chastity'p. 115
The Culture of Natural Hairp. 116
'Compositions of the Hair' in the Uraniap. 124
Margaret Cavendish and Imperial Hairp. 133
Conclusionp. 143
An 'absolute Mistris of her Self: Anne Clifford and the Luxury of Hairp. 144
Lady Anne Clifford's Inheritance of Beautyp. 148
'Mistris of her Self': The Baldness of the Baroness of Westmorlandp. 160
Conclusionp. 178
Notesp. 180
Indexp. 220
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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