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Further Reading

Suggestions for Further Reading

Individual Authors – Works and Biographies

The following list is not meant to be comprehensive but to provide at least one modern edition and one fairly recent biography for each author, when such is available.  In many cases, modern editions of the works contain good biographical introductions.  Though there are many excellent works in other languages, this list focuses on books in English for purposes of accessibility.


Tullia d’Aragona (ca. 1510-1556)

Sweet Fire: Tullia D’Aragona’s Poetry of Dialogue and Selected Prose, trans. and ed., Elizabeth A. Pallitto (Braziller, 2006)


Mary Astell (1666-1731)

Serious Proposal to the Ladies: Parts I and II, ed. Patricia Springborg (Broadview Press, 2002)


Perry, Ruth.  The Celebrated Mary Astell: an Early English Feminist (U of Chicago Press, 1986)


Laura Battiferri (1523-1589)

Laura Battiferri and Her Literary Circle, ed. and trans. Victoria Kirkham (University of Chicago Press, 2006)


Aphra Behn (1640-1689)

Oroonoko, the Rover, and Other Works, ed. Janet Todd (Penguin Classics, 1982)


Todd, Janet.  The Secret Life of Aphra Behn (Andre Deutsch, 1996)


Lady Elizabeth Cary (1585-1639)

Life and Letters, ed. Heather Wolfe (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001)


Tragedy of Mariam: the fair queen of Jewry, ed. Karin Britland (Methuen, 2010)


Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle (1624?-1674)

Convent of Pleasure and other Plays, ed. Anne Shaver (Johns Hopkins UP, 1999)


Paper Bodies: a Margaret Cavendish Reader, ed. Sylvia Bowerbank and Sara Mendelson (Broadview, 2000)


Political Writings, ed. Susan James (Cambridge UP, 2003)


Whitaker, Katie.  Mad Madge; the extraordinary of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, the first women to live by her pen (Basic books, 2002)


Susannah Centlivre (1667?-1723)

Miscellaneous Plays, intro. Stephanie Hodgson-Wright (Ashgate, 2000)


The Basset Table, ed. Jane Milling (Broadview Press, 2009)


Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676)

Memoir of 1603 and The Diary of 1616-1619, ed. Kathleen Acheson (Broadview Editions, 2007)


Spence, Richard T.  Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, Dorset and Montgomery (1590-1676) (Sutton, 1997)


Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547)

Sonnets for Michelangelo: a bilingual edition, ed. and trans. Abigail Brundin (U of Chicago Press, 2005)


Brundin, Abigail.  Vittoria Colonna and the Spiritual Poetics of the Italian Reformation (Ashgate, 2008)


Madeleine (1520-1587) and Catherine Des Roches (1542-1587)

From Mother and Daughter: Poems, dialogues, and Letters of les Dames Des Roches, ed. and trans. Anne R. Larsen (U of Chicago Press, 2006)


Tarte, Kendall B.  Writing Places: Sixteenth-Century City Culture and the Des Roches Salon (U of Delaware Press, 2007)


Eleanor Davies Douglas (1590-1652)

Eleanor Davies, writings 1641-1646, selected and Introduced by Teresa Feroli (Ashgate, 2001)


Cope, Esther S.  Handmaid of the Holy Spirit: Dame Eleanor Davies   (U of Michigan Press, 1992)


Margaret Fell (1614-1702)

Women’s Speaking Justified (1667), ed. David J. Latt (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, U of California, 1979)


Kunze, Bonnely Young. Margaret Fell and the Rise of Quakerism (Stanford U Press, 1994)


Anne Finch, countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720)

The Anne Finch Wellesley Manuscript Poems, ed. Barbara McGovern and Charles H. Hinnant (U of Georgia Press, 1998)


Selected Poems, ed. Katharine M. Rogers (Ungar, 1979)


McGovern, Barbara.  Anne Finch and her Poetry: a Critical Biography (U of Georgia Press, 1992)


Moderata Fonte (1555-1592)

Floridoro: a Chivalric Romance, ed. Valeria Finucci; trans. Julia Kisacky (U of Chicago Press, 2006)


Veronica Franco (1546-1591)

Poems and Selected Letters, ed. and trans. Ann Rosalind Jones and Margaret F. Rosenthal (U of Chicago Press, 1998)


Rosenthal, Margaret F.  The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (U of Chicago Press, 1992)


Esther Inglis (1571-1624)

Reproductions of some of her manuscripts online at:







Yeo, Elspeth. "Inglis [married name Kello], Esther (1570/1-1624), Calligrapher."  Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Jan. 2007.


Ziegler, Georgianna. "'More than Feminine Boldness': The Gift Books of Esther Inglis." In  Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain. Ed. Mary E. Burke, Jane Donawerth, Linda L. Dove, and Karen Nelson. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 2000.19-37.


Louise Labé (1526?-1566)

Complete Poetry and Prose: a bilingual edition, ed. and trans. Deborah Lesko Baker, poetry trans. Annie Finch (U of Chicago Press, 2006)


Cameron, Keith.  Louise Labé: Renaissance Poet and Feminist (St. Martin’s, 1990)


Madame de La Fayette (1634-1693)

Princess of Clèves, ed. and trans. John D. Lyons (W.W. Norton, 1994)


The Princesse de Cleves; The Princesse de Montpensier; The Comtesse de Tendre, trans. Terence Cave (Oxford UP, 1992)


Aemilia Lanyer (1569-1645)

Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, ed. Susanne Woods (Oxford UP, 1993)


Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon, ed. Marshall Grossman (U of Kentucky Press, 1998)


Hortense Mancini (1646-1699) and Marie Mancini (1639-1715?)

Memoirs: Hortense Mancini and Marie Mancini, ed. Sarah Nelson (U of Chicago Press, 2008)

Mallet-Joris, Françoise.  The Uncompromising Heart; a Life of Marie Mancini, Louis XIV’s First Love (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966)


Rosvall, Toivo David.  The Mazarine Legacy: the Life of Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin (Viking Press, 1969)


Delarivière Manley (1663-1724)

Delarivier Manley, selelcted and intro. Stephanie Hodgson-Wright (Ashgate, 2006)


Carnell, Rachel.  A Political Biography of Delarivier Manley (Pickering & Chatto, 2008)


Clark, Constance.  Three Augustan Women Playwrights (P. Lang, 1986) – also includes Pix and Trotter


Lucrezia Marinella (1571-1653)

Enrico, or, Byzantium Conquered: a Heroic Poem, ed. and trans. Maria Galli Stampino (U of Chicago, 2009)


Nobility and Excellence of Women, and the Defects and Vices of Men, ed. and trans. Anne Dunhill; intro. Letizia Panizza (U of Chicago Press, 1999)


Bathsua Makin (1600-ca. 1675)

Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen, intro. Paula L. Barbour (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA, 1980)


Teague, Frances.  Bathsua Makin, Woman of Learning (Associated University Presses, 1998)


Georgette de Montenay (1540-ca. 1581)

Reynolds-Cornell, Régine.  Witnessing an Era: Georgette de Montenay and the Emblemes ou devises chrestiennes (Summa Publications, 1987)


Anne-Marie-Louise Montpensier, duchesse d’Orléans (1627-1693)

Against Marriage: the Correspondence of la Grande Mademoiselle, ed. and trans. Joan DeJean (U of Chicago Press, 2002)


Pitts, Vincent J.  La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France: 1627-1693 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2000)


Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549)

Selected  Writings: a bilingual edition, ed. and trans. Rouben Cholakian and Mary Skemp (U of Chicago Press, 2008)


Cholakian, Patricia and Rouben Cholakian, Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance (Columbia UP, 2006)


Katherine Parr (1512-1548)

Complete Works and Correspondence, ed. Janel Mueller (U of Chicago Press, 2011)


Porter, Linda.  Katherine the Queen: the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr (Macmillan, 2010)


Katherine Philips (1632-1664)

Poems (1667) . . .; a facsimile reproduction, intro. Travis DuPriest (Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1992)


Katherine Philips . . .: Printed Letters 1697-1729, ed. Paula Loscocco, et al (Ashgate, 2007)


Souers, Philip Webster.  The Matchless Orinda (Harvard UP, 1966; 1931)


Christine de Pisan (ca. 1364-ca. 1431)

The City of Ladies, trans. Rosalind Brown-Grant (Penguin Books, 2006)


Margolis, Nadia.  An Introduction to Christine de Pisan (U Press of Florida, 2011)


Willard, Charity Cannon.  Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works (Persea Books, 1984)


Mary Pix (ca. 1666-1709)

The Plays of Mary Pix and Catharine Trotter, ed. Edna L. Steeves (Garland, 1982)


Clark, Constance.  Three Augustan Women Playwrights (Lang, 1986) – also includes Manley and Trotter


Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962)

All Passion Spent, ed. Joanna Lumley  (Little Brown, 1983)


Glendinning, Victoria.  Vita: The Life of V. Sackville-West (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983)


Margherita Sarrocchi (ca. 1560-1617)

Scanderbeide: the Heroic Deeds of George Scanderberg, King of Epirus, ed. and trans. Rinaldina Russell (U of Chicago Press, 2006)


Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678)

Whether a Christian Woman should be Educated and other writings from her intellectual circle, ed. and trans. Joyce L. Irwin (U of Chicago Press, 1998)


Choosing the Better Part: Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), ed. Mirjam de Baar et al  - trans. from the Dutch (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996)


Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701)

Selected Letters, Orations, and Rhetorical Dialogues, ed. and trans. Jane Donawerth and Julie Strongson (U of Chicago Press, 2004)


Aaronson, Nicole.  Mademoiselle de Scudéry, trans. Stuart R. Aaronson (Twayne, 1978)


Madame de Sévigné (1626-1696)

Farrell, Michele Longino.  Performing Motherhood: the Sévigné Correspondence (U Press of New england, 1991)


Ojala, Jeanne A. and William T. Ojala.  Madame de Sévigné: A Seventeenth-Century Life (St. Martin’s Press, 1990)


Mary Sidney (1561-1621)

Selected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, ed. Margaret P. Hannay, Noel J. Kinnamon, and Michael G. Brennan (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005)


The Sidney Psalter: the Psalms of Sir Philip and Mary Sidney, ed. Hannibal Hamlin and Michael G. Brennan (Oxford World’s Classics, 2009)


Hannay, Margaret P.  Philip’s Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Coutness of Pembroke (Oxford UP, 1990)


Lady Anne Southwell (1573-1636)

The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS. V.b.198, ed. Jean Klene (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997)


Gaspara Stampa (ca. 1523-ca. 1554)

Complete Poems, ed. Troy Tower and Jane Tylus; trans. by Tylus (University of Chicago Press, 2010)


Catharine Trotter (1674? -1749)

Catharine Trotter’s The Adventures of a Young Lady and Other Works, selected and intro., Anne Kelley (Ashgate, 2006)


Clark, Constance.  Three Augustan Women Playwrights (Lang, 1986) – also includes Pix and Manley


Anna Weamys (b. ca. 1630)

Anna Weamys, selected and intro. Marea Mitchell (Ashgate, 2005)


Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney’s ‘Arcadia’ by Anna Weamys, ed. Patrick C. Cullen (Oxford UP, 1994)


Elizabeth Jane Weston (1582-1612)

Collected Writings, ed. and trans. Donald Cheney and Brenda M. Hosington (U of Toronto Press, 2000)


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

A Room of One’s Own, and Three Guineas (Oxford World Classics, 2008) 


Lee, Hermione.  VirginiaWoolf (Vintage, 1999) 


Hannah Woolley (fl. 1670)

Gentlewoman’s Companion, or, a Guide to the Female Sex: the complete text of 1675, intro. Caterina Albano (Prospect Books, 2001)


Lady Mary Wroth (ca. 1586-ca. 1640)

Mary Wroth: the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania (Abridged), ed. Mary Ellen Lamb (Medieval and Renaissance Texts for Teaching, 2011)


Hannay, Margaret P.  Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth (Ashgate, 2010)





Anthologies and Background

Again, the following list is not comprehensive but is meant to lead the interested reader to some of the many general resources in the area of early women writers.  The list focuses on anthologies and on general background rather than critical studies, of which there are many excellent ones.


The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women's Writing, ed. Laura L. Knoppers (Cambridge UP, 2009)


Cox, Virginia.  Women’s Writing in Italy, 1400-1650 (Johns Hopkins U Press, 2008)


Early Modern Women’s Writing: An Anthology 1560-1700ed. Paul Salzman (Oxford World’s Classics, 2008) 


Eighteenth-Century Women Dramatists, ed. Melinda Finberg (Oxford World’s Classics, 2008)  Includes Centlivre and Pix


Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, andAemilia Lanyer, ed. Danielle Clarke (Penguin Books, 2000)


Jaffe, Irma B. and Gernando Colombardo.  Shining Eyes, Cruel Fortune: the Lives and Loves of Italian Renaissance Women Poets (Fordham UP, 2002), includes translations and a CD


Panizza, Letizia and Sharon Wood.   A History of Women’s Writing in Italy (Cambridge UP, 2001)


Renaissance Drama by Women: Texts and Documents, ed. S.P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (Routledge, 1996)


Staves, Susan.  A Literary History of Women’s Writing in Britain, 1660-1789 (Cambridge UP, 2010)


Stephens, Sonya.  A History of Women’s Writing in France (Cambridge UP, 2000)


Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers, ed. Susanne Woods and Margaret P. Hannay (Modern Language Association, 2000)


Wiesner, Merry E.   Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2007)


Women and Literature in Britain 1500-1700, ed. Helen Wilcox (Cambridge UP, 1996)


Women Poets of the Italian Renaissance: Courtly Ladies and Courtesans, ed. Laura Anna Stortoni (Italica Press, 2008)  Facing page translations of poems by nineteen poets.


Women Poets of the Renaissance, selected and ed. Marion Wynne-Davies (J.M. Dent, 1998)


Women Writers in Pre-Revolutionary France: Strategies of Emancipation, ed. Collette H. Winn (Routledge, 1997)


Women Writers in Renaissance England: an Annotated Anthology, ed. Randall Martin, 2nd ed.  (Longman's, 2010)








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