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Faithful Translators

Authorship, Gender, and Religion in Early Modern England

Jaime Goodrich

Publication Year: 2013

With Faithful Translators Jaime Goodrich offers the first in-depth examination of women’s devotional translations and of religious translations in general within early modern England. Placing female translators such as Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, alongside their male counterparts, such as Sir Thomas More and Sir Philip Sidney, Goodrich argues that both male and female translators constructed authorial poses that allowed their works to serve four distinct cultural functions: creating privacy, spreading propaganda, providing counsel, and representing religious groups. Ultimately, Faithful Translators calls for a reconsideration of the apparent simplicity of "faithful" translations and aims to reconfigure perceptions of early modern authorship, translation, and women writers.

Published by: Northwestern University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Figures

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

This book was made possible by generous research support from Wayne State University (a sabbatical leave, a University Research Grant), the Wayne State Humanities Center (a Faculty Fellowship), and the Wayne State English Department (a Josephine Nevins Keal Fellowship). ...

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Introduction. Religious Translation in Early Modern England

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pp. 3-28

In dedicating his 1603 translation of Montaigne’s Essayes to Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, and her mother, Lady Anne Harington, John Florio strikingly compared this latest publication to his earlier Italian and English dictionary Worlde of Wordes (1598): ...

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Chapter One. Private Spheres: Margaret Roper, Mary Basset, and Catholic Identity

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pp. 29-66

When Richard Hyrde introduced Margaret More Roper’s translation of Erasmus’s Devout Treatise upon the Pater Noster (1526) to English readers, he helped forge an enduring link between translation, humanist study, and leisure time. As John Archer Gee noted decades ago, Roper’s work was one of the first published translations to follow humanist standards, ...

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Chapter Two. Royal Propaganda: Mary Tudor, Elizabeth Tudor, and the Edwardian Reformation

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pp. 67-106

In 1548, the editors of printed translations by Mary and Elizabeth Tudor made an unprecedented case for the importance of female translators by asserting that the princesses’ works were important contributions to governmental religious policy. That January, Mary’s partial translation of Erasmus’s “Paraphrase . . . upon the Gospell of Sainct John” ...

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Chapter Three. Princely Counsel: Mary Sidney Herbert, Elizabeth I, and International Protestantism

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pp. 107-144

In late December 1545, Elizabeth Tudor marked the New Year’s festivities by presenting her father, Henry VIII, and her stepmother, Katherine Parr, with a complementary pair of manuscript translations. For her father, Elizabeth had translated Parr’s Prayers or Meditations (1544) from English into Latin, French, and Italian; ...

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Chapter Four. Anonymous Representatives: Mary Percy, Potentiana Deacon, and Monastic Spirituality

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pp. 145-184

In 1632, an English translation of Saint François de Sales’s Delicious Entertainments of the Soule appeared, attributed on the title page only to “a Dame of Our Ladies of comfort of the order of S[aint] Bennet in Cambray.” The anonymity of the translator, a member of the English Benedictine convent in Cambrai, met the heightened verbal chastity expected of enclosed nuns. ...

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Conclusion. Authority and Authorship in Early Modern England

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pp. 185-192

In 1590, Anne Lock Prowse described her published translation of Jean Taffin’s Of the Markes of the Children of God as a modest contribution to the larger project of furthering Calvinism: “Everie one in his calling is bound to doo somewhat to the furtherance of the holie building; but because great things by reason of my sex, I may not doo, ...


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pp. 193-230

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 231-236


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pp. 237-244

E-ISBN-13: 9780810167384
E-ISBN-10: 0810167387
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810129382
Print-ISBN-10: 0810129388

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 8 b/w
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 868223116
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Faithful Translators

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Translating and interpreting -- England -- History -- 16th century.
  • Women and literature -- Great Britain -- History.
  • Authorship -- Great Britain -- History.
  • Women translators -- Great Britain -- History -- 17th century.
  • Women translators -- Great Britain -- History -- 16th century.
  • English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
  • Christian literature -- Translations into English -- History and criticism.
  • Translating and interpreting -- England -- History -- 17th century.
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