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The Cultural Geographies of Early Modern Women’s Writing: Journeys Across Spaces and Times

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Abstract

This essay reviews the ways in which recent studies of early modern women’s writing have both extended the geographical scope of that canon, and have increasingly sought to situate it in relation to expansive, detailed and complex cultural geographies of the period. This broadening of the canon requires scholars to confront unfamiliar genres, new scholarly challenges and novel critical concerns, and thus demands that we think about fresh ways of reading these texts. How can paying new attention to the metaphorical and literal places and journeys of early modern women’s writing help the field to respond to this demand for growth, in terms of both content and methodology? To address this question, I review the body of work that is already taking up these challenges, and suggest some directions for further exploration that would enable us to develop a properly internationalist, Atlantic and comparative approach to early modern British women’s writing.

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