Catalogue


The girlhood of Shakespeare's sisters : gender transgression, adolescence /
Jennifer Higginbotham.
imprint
Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, c2013.
description
x, 225 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0748655905 (Cloth), 9780748655908 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, c2013.
isbn
0748655905 (Cloth)
9780748655908 (Cloth)
contents note
1. A wentche, a gyrle, a Damsell': Defining early modern girlhood -- 2. Roaring girls and unruly women: Producing femininities -- 3. Female infants and the engendering of humanity -- 4. Where are the girls in English Renaissance drama? -- 5. Voicing girlhood: Women's life writing and narratives of childhood -- Epilogue: Mass-produced languages and the end of touristic choices.
catalogue key
8943773
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-08-01:
Most of us probably assume one of two things about the category of "girl" in the early modern period: either it was used in approximately the same way as today to refer to preadolescent female children, or it was not used, because people of the Elizabethan period did not conceive of childhood as strongly gendered. Higginbotham (Ohio State Univ.) shows through her extensive research and great intelligence that "girl" was actually a much more complex and contested term than either of these perceptions allow. The author's sources range from dictionaries and plays by Shakespeare and Middleton to autobiographies and midwifery manuals, and she convincingly argues that girls were inherently transgressive because they were essentially unstable--a girl could be an innocent child, a sexually aggressive unmarried teen, or an independent woman (e.g., the "roaring girls" of the city comedies). Along the way, she overturns a few other myths, such as the belief that there were no girls on the English stage. This is an impressive piece of work in the "Edinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture" series, which introduces scholars (some of whom may not have realized that they held a view that needed correcting) to a new way of understanding girlhood. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. A. Castaldo Widener University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2013
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Jennifer Higginbotham makes a persuasive case for the paradigm shift in our current conceptions of the early modern sex-gender system. She challenges the widespread assumption that the category of the 'girl' played little or no role in the construction of gender in early modern English culture. She demonstrates that girl characters appeared in a variety of texts, from female infants in Shakespeare's late romances to the little children in Tudor interludes to adult 'roaring girls' in city comedies.
Description for Reader
The first sustained study of girls and girlhood in early modern literature and culture Jennifer Higginbotham makes a persuasive case for a paradigm shift in our current conceptions of the early modern sex-gender system. She challenges the widespread assumption that the category of the 'girl' played little or no role in the construction of gender in early modern English culture. And she demonstrates that girl characters appeared in a variety of texts, from female infants in Shakespeare's late romances to little children in Tudor interludes to adult 'roaring girls' in city comedies. This monograph provides the first book-length study of the way the literature and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries constructed the category of the 'girl'. Key Features * Charts the emergence of the word 'girl' into early modern English and its evolution from a gender-neutral term applied to both male and female children to one used only for female individuals * Challenges the misconception that girls were largely absent from English Renaissance literature * Offers a literary history of female child characters in Renaissance drama, from Tudor interludes to the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries to later seventeenth-century closet dramas * Features an examination of how women writers described their own girlhoods omen Writers
Main Description
The first full-length study of how the concept of the "girl" was constructed in sixteenth and seventeenth century literature and drama. The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Sisters argues for a paradigm shift in our current conceptions of the early modern sex-gender system, challenging the widespread assumption that the category of the "girl" played little or no role in the construction of gender in early modern English culture. Girl characters appeared in a variety of texts, from female infants in Shakespeare's late romances to little children in Tudor interludes to adult "roaring girls" in city comedies. Drawing from a variety of print and manuscript sources, including early modern drama, dictionaries, midwifery manuals, and women's autobiographies, this book argues that girlhood in Shakespeare's England was both a time of life and a form of gender transgression. Key Features: * Charts the emergence of the word "girl" into early modern English and its evolution from a gender-neutral term applied to both male and female children to one used only for female individuals * Challenges the misconception that girls were largely absent from English Renaissance literature * Offers a literary history of female child characters in Renaissance drama * Features an examination of how women writers described their own girlhoods
Main Description
The first sustained study of girls and girlhood in early modern literature and culture. Jennifer Higginbotham makes a persuasive case for a paradigm shift in our current conceptions of the early modern sex-gender system. She challenges the widespread assumption that the category of the 'girl' played little or no role in the construction of gender in early modern English culture. And she demonstrates that girl characters appeared in a variety of texts, from female infants in Shakespeare's late romances to little children in Tudor interludes to adult 'roaring girls' in city comedies. This monograph provides the first book-length study of the way the literature and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries constructed the category of the 'girl'.

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