Article

Epic, Meditation, or Sacred History? Women and Biblical Verse Paraphrase in Seventeenth-Century England

Sarah C. E. Ross

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c. 1530-1700

Published in print August 2015 | ISBN: 9780199686971
Published online November 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199686971.013.30

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Epic, Meditation, or Sacred History? Women and Biblical Verse Paraphrase in Seventeenth-Century England

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The centrality of the Bible to women’s reading practices in the early modern period in many ways defined their generic engagements as writers and, in particular, as poets: early modern women engaged in the social, doctrinal, and political debates of their world through religious poetry and prose. This chapter uses Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder as an entry point into the little-discussed biblical verse paraphrases of women to argue that the genre was vital to women’s social and political poetics, providing a biblical and poetic means for women writers to enter into digressive, analogic, and emblematic meditations on contemporary English history. Reading women’s biblical verse paraphrase not only provides fresh insight into women’s engagements with the Bible, but offers a gendered counterpoint to Milton’s biblical epic, and a salutary corrective to the secular emphases of contemporary literary canon formation.

Keywords: Lucy Hutchinson; Order and Disorder; epic; verse paraphrase; Anne Southwell; Elizabeth Singer Rowe; Guillaume de Saluste du Bartas; Francis Quarles; women’s writing

Article.  8553 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.