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Author Stavreva, Kirilka, author
Title Words like daggers : violent female speech in early modern England / Kirilka Stavreva
Imprint Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2015]
book jacket
 Modern History Library  820.99287 S798    AVAILABLE    30550100646809
Descript xxiv, 202 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series Early modern cultural studies
Early modern cultural studies (Lincoln, Neb.)
Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-194) and index
"Dramatic and documentary narratives about aggressive and garrulous women often cast such women as reckless and ultimately unsuccessful usurpers of cultural authority. Contending narratives, however, sometimes within the same texts, point to the effective subversion and undoing of the normative restrictions of social and gender hierarchies. Words Like Daggers explores the scolding invectives, malevolent curses, and ecstatic prophesies of early modern women as attested to in legal documents, letters, self-narratives, popular pamphlets, ballads, and dramas of the era. Examining the framing and performance of violent female speech between the 1590s and the 1660s, Kirilka Stavreva dismantles the myth of the silent and obedient women who allegedly populated early modern England. Blending gender theory with detailed historical analysis, Words Like Daggers asserts the power of women's language--the power to subvert binaries and destabilize social hierarchies, particularly those of gender, in the early modern era. In the process Stavreva reconstructs the speech acts of individual contentious women, such as the scold Janet Dalton, the witch Alice Samuel, and the Quaker Elizabeth Stirredge. Because the dramatic potential of women's powerful rhetorical performances was recognized not only by victims and witnesses of individual violent speech acts but also by theater professionals, Stavreva also focuses on how the stage, arguably the most influential cultural institution of the Renaissance era, orchestrated and aestheticized women's fighting words and, in so doing, showcased and augmented their cultural significance."-- Provided by publisher
Subject Women -- England -- Social conditions
Language and languages in literature
Women and literature -- England -- History
Violence in literature
Women in literature
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism
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