The transition from medieval manuscript to early printed book is currently a major topic of academic interest, but has received very little attention in terms of women's involvement, a gap which the essays in this volume address. They add female names to the list of authors who participated in the creation of English literature, and examine women's responses to authoritative and traditional texts in revealing detail. Taking its cue from the advances made by recent work on manuscript culture and book history, this volume also includes studies of material evidence, looking at women's participation in the making of books, and the traces they left when they encountered actual volumes. Finally, studies of women's roles in relation to apparently ephemeral texts, such as letters, pamphlets and almanacs, challenge traditional divisions between public and private spheres as well as between manuscript and print.
Dr Anne Lawrence-Mathers is Lecturer in History, University of Reading; Phillipa Hardman is Senior Lecturer in English, University of Reading.
Contributors: Gemma Allen, Anna Bayman, James Daybell, Alice Eardley, Christopher Hardman, Phillipa Hardman, Elizabeth Heale, Anne Lawrence-Mathers, Adam Smyth, Alison Wiggins, Graham Williams