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dc.contributor.authorWalker, Jessica Anne
dc.description.abstractThe English Renaissance is a period of interest in historiography and national consciousness, as well as a period in which women were starting to make their voices heard, despite the unacceptability of women's writing and public discourse. This dissertation seeks to explore the effect of historiography and national consciousness on women and how their writing fits into (or how women find their places outside) important cultural and literary developments between the Protestant Reformation and the Restoration of the English monarchy following the English Civil War. It establishes the sixteenth-century historiographical, literary, and gender contexts that contributed to the development of seventeenth-century women's historiography and life writing and explores how the limitations of women's education in the sixteenth century cut them off from participation in discourse about national identity and history and how those discourses began to evolve and change throughout the Stuart period. In order to uncover how these issues are at work in seventeenth-century women's life writing, this dissertation examines the diaries, memoirs, and literary output of Anne Clifford, Anne Halkett, Ann Fanshawe, Lucy Hutchinson, and Margaret Cavendish. The simultaneous experiences of war, which encourages women to speak of important events in their lives, and exile, which drives them beyond the strictly enforced boundaries of home and nation, undermine the dominant discourses of silence and enclosure that had discouraged women's writing. As a result, these women write across multiple points of fracture: disunity within the English state; the problem of writing national experience from outside the bounds of the nation; and the tension between urge to record and analyze their experiences for public consumption and the discourse that forbids them from doing so.
dc.subjectHistoriography, Early Modern Writing, Women’s Writing, Biography, Autobiography, War, Life Writing, Memoir, Diary, Drama, Speculative Fiction, Oratory, Epistolary, Reformation, Restoration, Renaissance
dc.titleBorders and boundaries
dc.title.alternativehistorical discourses in seventeenth-century women's life writing
dc.description.advisorFrances Teague
dc.description.committeeFrances Teague
dc.description.committeeMiranda Pollard
dc.description.committeeElizabeth Kraft
dc.description.committeeChristy Desmet

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