Margery Kempe – “On Female Celibacy”; “Her Temptation into Adultery”; “A Settlement with Her Husband” Elizabeth I – “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” Anne Bradstreet – “To My Dear and Loving Husband” Aphra Behn – “The Willing Mistress”; “On Her Loving Two Equally” Mary Astell – “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies”
Considered inferior to men, but … Not stay-at-home mothers or housewives Worked a variety of professions Able to own property if single or widowed
Suffers nervous breakdown after birth of child Had disturbing visions Considered a religious oddity A suspected Lollard Earliest autobiography in English Only account of Medieval woman’s own story When was her manuscript published?
What were her views on celibacy? How is she tempted? What is the “settlement” she makes with her husband?
Opportunities decreased somewhat Doctors, lawyers, teachers—ALWAYS male Domestic servant was most common job More women became housewives Girls did not attend school More $$ = more freedom Bluestockings (1750)
The Virgin Queen Fifth (and final) Tudor monarch Daughter of Henry VIII English Protestant Church Video et taceo English drama flourished Molested by her uncle Became Queen at 25, in 1559
Spanish Armada defeat in 1588 How does she refer to herself?
First American poet Wrote first book published by a woman in the U.S. Wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet (MA Bay Colony) Transcended gender boundaries Focused on domestic and religious themes Very optimistic, rejects anger and grief
If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold Or all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. Then while we live, in love let's so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever. Meter or Rhythm? Patterns or other poetic devices?
What does this image suggest about her feelings? Note how she uses the imagery of physical wealth and ownership to represent their emotional love. How does this contrast with the spiritual element of the poem? Whom is this poem addressed to? If just her husband, why does she address "ye women" here? Is she speaking to both? If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold Or all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. Then while we live, in love let's so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever. Anaphora Note the extra syllable in this final lines. What is its effect?
Best-known female poet of her generation Typically contrasted with Aphra Behn “For as a watch by art is wound To motion, such was mine; But never had Orinda found A soul till she found thine; Which now inspires, cures, and supplies, And guides my darkened breast; For thou art all that I can prize, My joy, my life, my rest.”
In this poem, what does Philips seem to be saying about marriage? Does she present marriage in a negative or a positive way? What kind of meter does this poem use? What kind of rhyme is represented in lines 9 and 10?
"All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds. It is she--shady and amorous as she was--who makes it not quite fantastic for me to say to you tonight: Earn five hundred a year by your wits." -- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
First professional woman writer in England One of England’s most popular dramatists What is significant about this? Amatory fiction An avid Tory Her Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister was the first epistolary novel in English literature What is an epistolary novel? “The Willing Mistress” “On Her Loving Two Equally”
If all Men are born free, how is it that all Women are born Slaves? The “first feminist” Wanted to write for a living A “public intellectual”
What is Astell’s “proposal”? Does she approve of women’s education? Does she accept women’s subordination? Does she think most women will approve of the proposal?
Consider this definition of “feminist”: A person who participates in emancipatory politics on the behalf of women. Which of the readings for today do you think best represents this definition of “feminist”? In other words, which author seems to be the most feminist? Use examples from the readings to support your answer.