We’re nearing the tail end of Women’s History Month, and Women Writers Online, a database of transcriptions of early modern women’s writing, is still free to access for the rest of the month! WWO’s contents include short and long poetry, plays, novels, essays and religious content, midwifery books, and more. Writers at all levels of fame are represented, from Elizabeth I and Aphra Behn to anonymous and pseudonymous writers. Here are just a few of the texts:
Cavendish, Margaret (Lucas), Duchess of Newcastle: The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing-World, 1667. An early work of sci-fi!
Neither was it a wonder that the men did freeze to death; for they were not onely driven to the very end or point of the Pole of that World, but even to another Pole of another World, which joined close to it…
By this Poetical Description, you may perceive, that my ambition is not onely to be Empress, but Authoress of a whole World; and that the Worlds I have made, both the Blazing- and the other Philosophical World, mentioned in the first part of this Description, are framed and composed of the most pure, that is, the Rational parts of Matter, which are the parts of my Mind…And in the formation of those Worlds, I take more delight and glory, then ever Alexander or Cesar did in conquering this terrestrial world.
Sowernam, Ester: Esther Hath Hang’d Haman, 1617. One of several responses to Joseph Swetnam’s misogynistic pamphlet “The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women”, this text methodically points out holes in Swetnam’s logic and refutes his points in like manner.
He runneth on, and saith, They were made of a Rib, and that their froward and crooked nature doth declare, for a Rib is a crooked thing, &c. Woman was made of a crooked rib, so she is crooked of conditions. Joseph Swetnam was made as from Adam of clay and dust, so he is of a durty and muddy disposition.
Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (Aikin): Poems, 1773. Poetry about nature, politics and current events, the poet’s friends, and other subjects.
From glittering scenes which strike the dazzled sight
With mimic grandeur and illusive light,
From idle hurry, and tumultous noise,
From hollow friendships, and from sickly joys,
Will Delia, at the muse’s call retire
To the pure pleasures rural scenes inspire?
Will she from crowds and busy cities fly,
Where wreaths of curling smoke involve the sky,
To taste the grateful shade of spreading trees,
And drink the spirit of the mountain breeze?
And from her Sins of Government, Sins of the Nation, 1793:
If an oppressive law, or a destructive war, were of the nature of a volcano or a hurricane, proceeding from causes totally independent of our operations, all we should have to do, would be to bow our heads in silent submission, and to bear their ravages with a manly patience. We do not repent of a dangerous disorder or a sickly constitution, because these are things which do not depend upon our own efforts…But we are called upon to repent of national sins, because we can help them, and because we ought to help them.
There are some, whose nerves, rather than whose principles, cannot bear cruelty — like other nuisances, they would not chuse it in sight, but they can be well content to know it exists, and that they are indebted for it to the increase of their income, and the luxuries of their table.
Davies, Lady Eleanor: The Benediction, 1651. Davies published a number of works in which she interpreted Biblical prophecies in Daniel and Revelation through anagrams, numerology, and other tools to apply to current events. She anagrammed her own maiden name, Eleanor Audelie, as “Reveale O Daniel.” This document asserts God’s blessing on Oliver Cromwell.
By whom Decypher’d that Generals Thundring Donative his the Crown and Bended Bowe (Rev. 6.) That Seal or Box of Nard opened; as much to say, O: Cromwel, Renowned be Victorious so long as Sun Moon continues or livever.
Anagram, Howl Rome: And thus with one voice, come and see, O: C: Conquering and to Conquer went forth.
Take a look at the WWO database while it’s still Women’s History Month!
We’re nearing the tail end of Women’s History Month, and Women Writers Online, a database of transcriptions of early modern... MORE
ESE Study Abroad Blog
Week of December 4
I can’t believe we are in the single digit countdown to coming home! This has been such an incredible experience it’s hard to believe that we have less than 10 days left. One of the best parts of this experiences has been practicum. Teaching in an italian classroom has been incredible and nothing like what I expected. For starters, I NEVER expected to teach with my hands this much!! And I never expected to teach in a room with no technology. 2 chalboards. That was all I had.
I don’t know what I was expecting going into this experience. It never really hit me until I got into the classroom that I was teaching English to Italian students. When I walked into the room for the first day the students were so excited and all yelled “good morning” at me. That is why it did not hit me until after I sat down to observe and they all started yelling in Italian. I was attempting to make out the few Italian words I knew, like how to say pizza, pasta and thank you….but none of the students were using those. It was very overwhelming…but I was also excited.
My favorite lesson of this semester was by far the last lesson I taught, my Christmas lesson. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas, so it is obvious that this is by far my favorite subject to teach. Throughout the semester I always made it a point to integrate US cultures and traditions into my lessons whenever possible. I liked to show the students how things are different at home and give them as accurate of a picture of America as possible. When I taught the Christmas lesson we compared Christmas in Italy to Christmas in America and found many similarities and a few differences. For example, in Italy there are no stockings hung by the fireplace. When I was explaining it to the students they thought it was the coolest thing ever but did not understand how Santa could fit anything in a pair of tights!! During the lesson the students were decorating paper ornaments and hanging them up on the paper tree I placed at the front of the room. It was an indescribable feeling to be looking around the room at my little Italian 6th graders as they colored ornaments, writing English phrases on them and randomly bursting into song, with those songs being various American Christmas Carols. I saw the students writing things on their ornaments that I taught them weeks ago. It was such an incredible feeling to see that the students were actually learning and understanding what I was teaching them.
So now as practicum has come to a close, all the weekend trips have ended, and we are in the final single digit countdown, I am realizing more and more how grateful I am for this experience. It has changed me in ways I cannot describe, but I am so thankful for. Florence is a beautiful place to be able to call home for 4 months, but I think I am ready to be back in Friartown!!
Caitlin Whitaker ESE Study Abroad Blog Week of December 4 I can’t believe we are in the single digit... MORE