Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens: Women's Alliances in Early Modern England
This new collection of sixteen essays considers evidence for the varied forms of women's alliances in early modern England. It shows how women, prohibited from direct participation in the institutional structures that shaped the lives of men, constructed informal connections with other females for purposes of survival, advancement, and creativity. The essays presented here consider a variety of communities--formed among groups as diverse as serving women, vagrants, aristocrats, and authors--in order to study the historical traces of women's connections. "Alliance"--as understood by the essayists in this volume--does not preclude competition or antagonism, since the bonds among women were frequently determined by an opposition to other women. As shown here, the theorizing of women's connections, and the recovery of the historical evidence for these connections, can only add to our understanding of women's activities in early modern English society. Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens is divided into four sections. The first two, "Alliances in the City" and "Alliances in the Household," examine the circumstances of women's communities in two primary sites for women of this place and time. The second two, "Materializing Communities" and "Emerging Alliances," fully study the aspirations that guided and transformed the courses of women's lives. All of these interdisciplinary essays, deftly combining literary and historical methods and materials, are informed by feminism, queer theory, and studies of class and race in the early modern period.
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Página 142 - What, what! good cheer! Why, how now, Charmian! My noble girls! Ah, women, women, look, Our lamp is spent, it's out! Good sirs, take heart. We'll bury him; and then, what's brave, what's noble, Let's do it after the high Roman fashion, And make Death proud to take us.
Página 107 - Others there are that have no composition at all; but a kind of tuning and riming fall in what they write.
Página 117 - The flower that I would pluck And put between my breasts — O then but beginning To swell about the blossom — she would long Till she had such another, and commit it To the like innocent cradle, where, phoenix-like, They died in perfume.
Página 194 - It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion...
Página 268 - em being like Snow, as were his Teeth. His Nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat : His Mouth the finest shaped that could be seen ; far from those great turn'd Lips, which are so natural to the rest of the Negroes.
Página 215 - To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak : I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Página 78 - If women are the gifts, then it is men who are the exchange partners. And it is the partners, not the presents upon whom reciprocal exchange confers its quasi-mystical power of social linkage. The relations of such a system are such that women are in no position to realize the benefits of their own circulation.
Página 117 - So we grew together, Like to a double cherry, seeming parted ; But yet a union in partition, Two lovely berries moulded on one stem : So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart; Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.