Economic Imperatives for Women's Writing in Early Modern Europe


Economic Imperatives for Women’s Writing in Early Modern Europe delves into the early modern history of women’s authorship and literary production in Europe taking a material turn. The case studies included in the volume represent women writers from various European countries and comparatively reflect the nuances of their participation in a burgeoning commercial market for authors while profiting as much from patronage. From self-representation as professional writers to literary reception, the challenges of reputation, financial hardships, and relationships with editors and colleagues, the essays in this collection show from different theoretical standpoints and linguistic areas that gender biases played a far less limiting role in women’s literary writing than is commonly assumed, while they determined the relationship between moneymaking, self-representation, and publishing strategies.

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Biographical Note

Nina Geerdink, Ph.D. (1983), Utrecht University, is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Dutch Literature at that university. She is a specialist in the seventeenth century and has published on women’s writing, social poetry and authorship. Carme Font Paz, Ph.D. (1972), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is Lecturer of English Literature at that university, and Research Associate at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She is a specialist in the seventeenth century and has published on women’s prophetic writing, poetry and intellectual history.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Notes on Contributors 1 Introduction: Women, Professionalisation, and Patronage Carme Font Paz and Nina Geerdink 2 Women Authors’ Reputation and Its Relationship to Money Earned: Some Early French Writers as Examples Suzan van Dijk 3 Words for Sale: Early Modern Spanish Women’s Literary Economy Nieves Baranda 4 Fighting for Her Profession: Dorothe Engelbretsdatter’s Discourse of Self-Defence Marie Nedregotten Sørbø 5 Writing for Patronage or Patronage for Writing? Two Case Studies in Seventeenth-Century and Post-Restoration Women’s Poetry in Britain Carme Font Paz 6 Possibilities of Patronage: The Dutch Poet Elisabeth Hoofman and Her German Patrons Nina Geerdink 7 Between Patronage and Professional Writing. The Situation of Eighteenth Century Women of Letters in Venice: The Example of Luisa Bergalli Gozzi Rotraud von Kulessa 8 From Queen’s Librarian to Voice of the Neapolitan Republic: Eleonora de Fonseca Pimentel Irene Zanini-Cordi 9 “[S]ome employment in the translating Way”: Economic Imperatives in Charlotte Lennox’s Career as a Translator Marianna D’Ezio 10 Beating the Odds: Sophie Albrecht (1756–1840), a Successful Woman Writer and Publisher in Eighteenth-Century Germany Berit C.R. Royer Index


Academics and advanced students working in the field of early modern literature, history, gender studies, and anyone interested in early modern women’s writing, comparative literature, and socio-economic cultures.