Where did women writers working between the sixteenth to eighteenth century fit in a world ordered and controlled by men? Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull’s lecture explores this issue and gives an overview of the sort of writing women wrote to comply with, and even challenge, the patriarchal society in which they lived. Ben begins by explaining the place and role of women in this society, before moving on to consider how these societal expectations affected their ability to write and publish their work. They then introduce examples of important female authors and texts from the period to demonstrate the rich array of genres in which women worked. After considering the literary legacy of the first woman of colour to publish a volume of poems in English, the lecture concludes with a discussion of why studying these writers continues to matter in the twenty-first century.
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