This monograph is a study of early modern women's literary use of catechizing. It addresses the question of women's literary production in early modern England, demonstrating that the reading and writing of catechisms were crucial sites of women's literary engagements in early modern England.
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Paula McQuade received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1998. The recipient of a 1996 Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship, McQuade is the author of multiple articles on early modern women and gender. Her article on the female catechist Dorothy Burch was selected as the best article published in 2010 by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Writers. She is also the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award from DePaul University, Chicago.
Introduction. 'Milk for babes': catechisms and female authorship in early modern England; Part I. Domestic Catechesis and Female Authorship: 1. 'Mother bare me': catechisms and maternity in early modern England; 2. 'A tender mother': domestic catechesis in the household devotional of Katherine Fitzwilliam, circa 1603; Part II. Female Witness and Inter-Confessional Dialogue: 3. 'At Magdalin's house': maternal catechesis and female witness in the manuscript miscellany of Katherine Thomas (b. 1637); 4. Catholicism, catechesis, and coterie circulation: the manuscript of Barbara Slingsbury Talbot (b. 1633); Part III. Print and Polemic: 5. 'A knowing people': catechizing and community in Dorothy Burch's A Catechisme of the Severall Heads of the Christian Religion (1646); 6. Prophecy, catechesis, and community in Mary Cary's The Resurrection of the Witnesses (1648; reprint 1653); Epilogue.
'... Paula McQuade's delightful book, a work of literary scholarship which is not only for literary scholars. Like many of her authors - women whose humanity she never forgets - her professed aims are modest: to add half-a-dozen more minor entries to the emerging canon of early modern women's writing in English, and in the process to persuade us that catechesis deserves to be taken seriously as a literary genre. As it happens, the significance of her work extends a little further than that.' Alec Ryrie, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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