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Elaine Hobby

times, alternating the identities of wife and widow. 4 Through focusing in turn on some deliberately disparate sources – spiritual autobiographies, midwifery manuals, and an extraordinary ‘History’ by Aphra Behn – this chapter seeks to indicate the huge range of under-read materials available to researchers interested in the role of religion in women’s life-cycle events, and to suggest that literary critical methods can make an important contribution to their analysis. In 1653, as Oliver

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
Rebecca Whiteley

’s religious prints were collected not only in Catholic countries but also by Protestant connoisseurs, including in England. Famed as one of the ‘most sophisticated of Baroque engravers’, Mellan was particularly known for developing the technique of using parallel lines of varying thickness, rather than hatched lines, to create tone, and the Holy Face was widely cited as the example par excellence. 1 In 1668, just under twenty years after the first publication of Mellan’s Holy Face, a midwifery manual was

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
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Religion and life cycles in early modern England
Caroline Bowden, Emily Vine, and Tessa Whitehouse

‘life cycles’. Rebecca Whiteley’s analysis of ‘birth figures’ ( Chapter 2 ), anatomical drawings found predominantly in midwifery manuals, has important implications for how printed images shaped medical and religious understandings of pregnancy and childbirth. Rosemary Keep’s study of the Aston portrait demonstrates how birth, death, childhood, adulthood and intense piety interact in close proximity within a single painting ( Chapter 11 ). David Fletcher’s examination of Restoration comedy focuses on the

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England