'The Maid's Lawful Liberty: Service, the Household, and 'Mother B' in Isabella Whitney's A Sweet Nosegay'

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    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The article situates Isabella Whitney's 'A Modest Meane for Maids' and the larger volume of poems it which it appears (Whitney's A Sweet Nosegay) n the context of cultural attitudes toward women in service in early modern London. While the nefarious figure of Mother B (for Bawd) pervades discourses surrounding women in service, Whitney's poetry works to redeem the reputation of female servants, protesting their victimisation and establishing a unique authorial voice of the middle class woman at a very early moment in English literary history.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-462
    Number of pages23
    JournalModern Philology
    Volume95
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 1998

    Keywords

    • Isabella Whitney
    • A Sweet Nosegay
    • early modern English poetry
    • early modern households
    • maidservants
    • women's writing

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