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The spiritual autobiography of Elizabeth Isham
Isaac Stephens

squarely in the tradition of spiritual life-writing and internal piety commonly practised among Puritans. By far the richest source on the seventeenth-century Ishams of Lamport Hall – particularly on the female members of the family – her autobiography also memorialized previous generations of Isham women and served, so she hoped, to enrich the spiritual lives of succeeding generations of women in the family. Always an echo throughout the text, Elizabeth’s marital status proved important too, since she intended it to serve as an implicit, if not explicit written apology

in The gentlewoman’s remembrance
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A memory restored
Isaac Stephens

confidante and initial inspiration to meditate on death through the process of life-writing, something that offers an intimate view of the female world of Lamport Hall that revolved around books, education, needlework, and loving and emotional support. Upon recalling this, our attention shifts to the monument to Sir John Isham that rests beneath the communion table. Our memory of the first Isham baronet and local Northamptonshire dignitary now more nuanced, we 233 The gentlewoman’s remembrance know him as Elizabeth’s first patriarch with whom she had a loving

in The gentlewoman’s remembrance
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Dreamer, realist, analyst, writing
Nicholas Royle

, but also in terms of how her critical work (which resides in her so-called fictional writings as well as in her essays) affects our understanding of ‘fiction’, ‘the novel’, ‘poetry’, ‘literature’, ‘creative writing’, ‘criticism’, ‘narrative theory’, ‘autobiography’, ‘life writing’ and so on. Cixous is not so much ‘a writer’s writer’, as a poetic thinker who compels us to develop new ways of approaching both creative and critical writing, both literature and literary criticism and theory. Historians, critics and theorists alike have tended to overlook

in Hélène Cixous
Frances Burney’s Diary (1842–46) and the reputation of women’s life writing
Susan Civale

Chapter 1 ‘Nothing is so delicate as the reputation of a woman’: Frances Burney’s Diary (1842–46) and the reputation of women’s life writing F r a nc es B ur n ey ( 1 752 – 1 8 4 0 ) is often associated with a tradition of feminine diffidence and authorial anxiety, but her Diary and Letters (1842–46) tells a different story. Burney’s Diary showcased a model of female authorship that blended a sense of her position in the literary marketplace with a charming feminine persona. As the first woman’s diary to be published in English, Burney’s Diary landed at the

in Romantic women’s life writing
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Revealing the unseen Mary Wollstonecraft
Susan Civale

-studied nineteenthcentury responses to Wollstonecraft – in reviews, fiction, poetry, multibiographies, biographical dictionaries, book-length biographies, essays and political writing – suggests that while the Memoirs did 74 Romantic women’s life writing take a toll, it also imbued her afterlife with a unique emotional and intellectual appeal. Her Rights of Woman, moreover, continued to attract readers and influence political thinking throughout the century. By the fin de siè cle, Wollstonecraft had received renewed attention as journalists, novelists, biographers and activists drew

in Romantic women’s life writing
Mary Hays and the struggle for self-representation
Susan Civale

Female Biography (1803), the first comprehensive Englishlanguage biographical dictionary written for and about women, suggest otherwise. With its innovative form and progressive content, Female Biography furthered the feminist, pedagogical and political principles 204 Romantic women’s life writing she had long espoused and accommodated an oblique self-defence as well. By situating Hays within the context of Dissenting religious and literary subcultures as well as 1790s radicalism, and looking not only at Emma Courtney but also at other works like Female Biography

in Romantic women’s life writing
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Finding and remembering Elizabeth Isham
Isaac Stephens

largely on devotional literature and Scripture – played a crucial role in the cultivation of such piety and greatly influenced Elizabeth’s life-writing.7 It was a piety and writing that she desired to share with her brother Justinian’s first four daughters, for she bequeathed her ‘Booke of Rememberance’ to them to read. Moreover, Elizabeth wished to leave a memorial testament of her mother, Lady Isham, and sister, Judith, in the autobiography, and in doing so produced the richest source on the lives of her two closest female relations. Such a testament grew out of the

in The gentlewoman’s remembrance
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Carol Acton and Jane Potter

importance of such ‘stories [as] self-contained accounts in which an author attempts to explain the meaning of an experience both to him- or herself and to others … Storytelling is, thus, simultaneously reflective and rhetorical.’60 Reading these diaries, letters and memoirs from a multidisciplinary perspective that draws on psychological approaches to war experience alongside life-writing theory and a literary-critical close reading of the texts offers a route into the subjective experience which cannot be reached through an objective analysis of medical history. Moreover

in Working in a world of hurt
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Metabiographical method
Justin D. Livingstone

” Brontës in their place’. 31 Instead of engaging in iconoclastic demystification, in order to reveal the ‘real’ Brontës, she offers ‘a book about biography, a metabiography’, which exposes ‘just how malleable the raw material’ of life-writing can be. 32 Patricia Fara takes largely the same approach to ‘Newton’s posthumous reputations’. Without explicitly declaring a metabiographical

in Livingstone’s ‘Lives’
Caring for newborns in early modern England
Leah Astbury

the infant’s body by rubbing and stroking. A prominent theme in regimens was also ensuring babies were contented and their passions were not roused: distress could cause illness or death. In addition to vernacular medical texts, this chapter also draws on a group of sources which have been termed ‘life-writing’ – that is, family correspondence, diaries and journals – which allow the historian to access the ways in which prescription and practice interacted. This is a difficult task. The very nature of the time immediately after birth, in which the mother was

in Conserving health in early modern culture