Catechisms and Women's Writing in Seventeenth-Century England
6 Jul 2017
Catechisms and Women's Writing in Seventeenth-Century England is a study of early modern women's literary use of catechizing. Paula McQuade examines original works composed by women - both in manuscript and print, as well as women's copying and redacting of catechisms - and construction of these materials from other sources. By studying female catechists, McQuade shows how early modern women used the power and authority granted to them as mothers to teach religious doctrine, to demonstrate their linguistic skills, to engage sympathetically with Catholic devotional texts, and to comment on matters of contemporary religious and political import - activities that many scholars have considered the sole prerogative of clergymen. This book addresses the question of women's literary production in early modern England, demonstrating that reading and writing of catechisms were crucial sites of women's literary engagements during this time.