In Women, Death and Literature in Post-Reformation England Patricia Phillippy examines the crucial literal and figurative roles played by women in death and mourning during the early modern period. By examining early modern funerary, liturgical and lamentational practices, as well as diaries, poems and plays, she illustrates the consistent gendering of rival styles of grief in post-Reformation England. Phillippy emphasises the period's textual and cultural constructions of male and female subjects as predicated upon gendered approaches to death. She argues that while feminine grief is condemned as immoderately emotional by male reformers, the same characteristic that opens women's mourning to censure enable its use as a means of empowering women's speech. Phillippy calls on a wide range of published and archival material that date from the Reformation to well into the seventeenth century, providing a study that will appeal to cultural as well as literary historians.
Patricia Phillippy is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Love's Remedies: Recantation and Renaissance Lyric Poetry (1995).