Daughters of coke: Women’s legal discourse in England, 1642–1689

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When I was writing the introduction to e History of British Women’s Writing, 1610-1690, volume 3 of Palgrave Macmillan’s 10-volume series, one of my tasks was to provide a retrospective history of scholarship of the field. I began with Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) and pointed out how her bemoaning of the fate of the fictional “Judith Shakespeare” was proven to be incorrect by scholars writing later in the twentieth century, who have described a vibrant literary culture among early modern women. Indeed, one of those scholars has been Hilda L. Smith, whose 1982 Reason’s Disciples was a foundational work and an invaluable guide for scholars coming into the field, like myself. Smith’s and Susan Cardinale’s extensive annotated bibliography of 637 works by women, and nearly 1,000 works for and about women, became an indispensable resource for scholars in identifying texts for further study; it also proved influential in widening the study of women’s writing beyond what was traditionally considered “literature.” My essay on seventeenth-century women’s use of legal discourse is an example of the abiding influence Smith’s scholarship has had on the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChallenging Orthodoxies
Subtitle of host publicationThe Social and Cultural Worlds of Early Modern Women: Essays Presented to Hilda L. Smith
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781317168768
ISBN (Print)9781409457084
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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