Her Own Life
Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen
Edited by Helen Wilcox, Elaine Hobby, Hilary Hind, Elspeth Graham
Routledge – 1989 – 256 pages
During a period when writing was often the only form of self-expression for women, Her Own Life contains extracts from the autobiographical texts of twelve seventeenth-century women addressing a wide range of issues central to their lives.
'This fascinating collection is a valuable contribution not only to the study of autobiography, but also to wider feminist and historicist debates.' - Notes and Queries
'The texts collected in - Her Own Life are introduced by a lucid discussion of the theoretical limitations of contemporary criticism on the subject of autobiography … The authors are particularly successful in their explanation of the political differences that divided and changed the position of women during and after the Civil War … The anthology collects material otherwise difficult to find and offers a wide perspective over a period hardly discussed in the critical studies of women's autobiographical writing so far.'
` - Her Own Life is more than a breath of fresh air in the reception and anthologising of texts by early modern women. The editors introduce a variety of ways of thinking about the `self' in language that keeps a reader moving between contemporary ways of reading `autobiography' and seventeenth-century questions and issues which have stuctured the narratives … The range of material introduced must make us readjust our thoughts about gender, genre and history … A very valuable teaching text of non-canonical writing from the radical traditions of the seventeenth century.'