Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe
Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe
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Table of Contents
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Acknowledgements List of Figures Notes on Contributors 1. Introduction: Early Modern European Women and the Edge Aidan Norrie and Lisa Hopkins Section I: Life on the Edge 2. 'At the mercy of a strange woman': Plague Nurses, Marginality, and Fear during the Great Plague of 1665 Lara Thorpe 3. Chemistry, Medicine, and Beauty on the Edge: Marie Meurdrac Sarah Gordon 4. Anna Stanislawska's Orphan Girl of 1685: Autobiography of a Divorce Lynn Lubamersky Section II: Witchcraft and the Edge 5. Touching on the Margins: Elizabeth Sawyer's Body in Performance and Print Alex MacConochie 6. Anna Trapnel: Prophet or Witch? Debra Parish Section III: Courtly Women on the Edge 7. Wife, Widow, Exiled Queen: Beatrice d'Aragona (1457-1508) and Kinship in Early Modern Europe Jessica O'Leary 8. On the Edge of the S(h)elf: Arbella Stuart Lisa Hopkins 9. Cecilia of Sweden: Princess, Margravine, Countess, Regent Aidan Norrie 10. 'Elizabeth the Forgotten': The Life of Princess Elizabeth Stuart (1635-1650) Jessica L. Becker Epilogue: The Early Modern Edge in the Twenty-first Century 11. Catalina de Erauso-'the Lieutenant Nun'-at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century Eva Mendieta Index

Reviews and Features

"Women on the Edge seeks to write women on the margins into our history. This includes women who were marginalized at the time, as well as those who have been ignored by scholarship, despite their cultural, political, and professional contributions ... the contributors make a good case for showing why these women ought to be brought to the center of our attention, rather than remain delegated to the margins to which they were assigned during their lifetime ... The edition as a whole, then, illustrates the important role scholars have in centering or decentering women and their (textual) legacies."
– Lotte Fikkers, Leiden University, Journal of Early Modern History 25.5 (October 2021)

"This collection of essays provides particular insights into women living on a variety of margins and their attempts to construct mechanisms to cope and prosper, to survive, or at least give their deaths alternative meaning. The essays encourage readers to consider the challenges the women present to more established modes of understanding the past and its relationship to the present."
- Jessica L. Malay, University of Huddersfield, English Historical Review 135 (December 2020)

“In Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe, Lisa Hopkins and Aidan Norrie present a series of essays that begin to break up the parched soil of long-neglected early modern ‘women on the edge’ to make way for future scholars to plow, plant, and grow new research. ... The anthology makes a strong case for continued primary-source research into secondary and tertiary women of the early modern period who have previously been eclipsed by women holding primary roles in society as well as men who played both central and secondary roles. It also makes a case for more expansive coverage of women and their influence in even superficial treatments of the period. The soil has been turned, and the field, it turns out, has the potential to yield excellent fruit."
- Britt Eyre-Mitchell, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 20.3 (Summer 2020)

"Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe ... challenges readers to focus their attention on women who occupy material and ideological spaces defined as 'the edge' ... Spanning two and a half centuries (ca. 1457-ca. 1701), this collection attends to women who have been little studied or who have been studied primarily for one, narrow '(in)famous event' (17). Such critical approaches that intentionally look away from the 'center' of early modern European cultures ... are an energizing way to recover and analyze early modern women's intersectional experiences. ... Undeniably wide-reaching, this collection ... will be of interest and particular use to interdisciplinary early modern scholars of gender, European history, politics, the English Interregnum, monarchy, and literature."
- Elisa Oh, Howard University, Early Modern Women 14.2 (Spring 2020)

Lisa Hopkins, Aidan Norrie (eds)

Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe

Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe examines the lives of women whose gender impeded the exercise of their personal, political, and religious agency, with an emphasis on the conflict that occurred when they crossed the edges society placed on their gender. Many of the women featured in this collection have only been afforded cursory scholarly focus, or the focus has been isolated to a specific, (in)famous event. This collection redresses this imbalance by providing comprehensive discussions of the women’s lives, placing the matter that makes them known to history within the context of their entire life. Focusing on women from different backgrounds -- such as Marie Meurdrac, the French chemist; Anna Trapnel, the Fifth Monarchist and prophetess; and Cecilia of Sweden, princess, margravine, countess, and regent -- this collection brings together a wide range of scholars from a variety of disciplines to bring attention to these previously overlooked women.
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Lisa Hopkins

Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University and co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association, of the Arden Early Modern Drama Guides, and of Arden Studies in Early Modern Drama.

Aidan Norrie

Aidan Norrie is Lecturer in History and Programme Leader at the University Campus North Lincolnshire and the Managing Editor of The London Journal. Aidan has co-edited several collections, including Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe (2019) and Tudor and Stuart Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty (2022).