Through an exploration of key women writers of the early modern period, Marion Wynne-Davies demonstrates the ways in which female authors were both enabled and constrained by the writing traditions and influences within their families. The engagement with and participation in the construction of individual familial discourses is explained via an analysis of six Renaissance families: the Mores, Lumleys, Sidneys/Herberts, Carys and Cavendishes. While the book addresses the writings of male authors from these family groups, such as Sir Thomas More, John Donne, Philip Sidney, Lucius Cary and William Cavendish, its primary focus is on Margaret More/Roper, Gertrude More, Jane Lumley, Mary Wroth, Elizabeth Cary and Jane, Elizabeth and Margaret Cavendish.

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