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BOOK REVIEWS 291 in Shakespeare'sthought without arguing for either side. The wealth and diversity of the scholarly treatment of Christianity in Shakespeare'splays is illustrated by the excellentcollection of excerpts RoyBattenhouse presents in Shakespeare's Christian Dimension: An Anthology of Commentary (1994), a collection which gives some of the best arguments presented by the scholarly community for the presence of Christianity in Shakespeare'swork. Boitani's work is a thing apart from all of these scholarly studies of Shakespeare'sChristianity. Instead it givespersonal, sometimes idiosyncratic, readings by a consummately close reader of Shakespeare's work. Boitani picks up on phrasing and connections that readers have missed and shows their importance within the context of the work. This is not a narrow study for nitpicking scholars who expound esoteric theories, but a loving reading by an admirer and appreciator of Shakespeare's work who happens to have the expertise and breadth of knowledge of the literary tradition preceding Shakespeare's writing to give it full understanding and measure. This is a book to be treasured and savored by lovers of Shakespeare and also those readers who want to understand better what the bard is up to and the world of the mind he inhabits. Mimosa Stephenson University of Texas at Brownsville Early Modern Women on the Fall: An Anthology. Edited by Michelle M. Dowd and Thomas Festa. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2012. ISBN978-0-86698-458-4. Pp. 386. $60.00 In this anthology, Michelle M. Dowd and Thomas Festa gather a varied selection of seventeenth-century women's writing inspired by the narrative of the Fall, particularly the character of Eve. As the editors note, "Imagining Eve's voice in early modern England entailed direct engagement with the most contentious issues of identity in political and sociallife"(1-2). The authors of these texts engage such "contentious issues:' from education to breastfeeding to poetry to theology, as they explore the Fall as a basis for early modern theories about gender, society, and vocation. In publishing this anthology, Dowd and Festa hope to "dispel the simplistic myth that religion functioned only to disempower women in the premodern era, or that the story of Eve's fall did not have a productive as well as a counterproductive force in English society" (7). Including a wide range of writings inspired by the Fall narrative, the anthology illustrates the generative power of this tale to spark discussion, debate, and imaginative writing in the early modern period. EarlyModern Womenon theFall includes relativelywell-known voices,such as AemeliaLanyer(selections from Salve DeusRexJudaeorum), Katherine Philips ("To 292 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE Antenor, on a Paper of Mine"), and Mary Astell (A Serious Proposal to the Ladies) alongside texts that have never before appeared in a modern edition, including Dorothy Calthorpe's "A Description of the Garden of Eden" and selections from Mary Roper's The Sacred History. Among the other texts are poems by Margaret Cavendish ("Poets Have Most Pleasure In This Life"),Lucy Hutchinson (selections from Order and Disorder), and Jane Barker (''A Farewell to Poetry, With a Long Digression on Anatomy"), and prose works by Bathsua Makin (An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen) and Elizabeth Clinton (The Countess of Lincoln's Nursery). Along with their chronologically-ordered selection of poetry and prose, Dowd and Festa include appendices containing the first three chapters of Genesis in both the Geneva and Authorized (King James) versions of the Bible, the marriage service from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, biographical and textual notes, and a selected bibliography for further reading. Dowd and Festa address this anthology to both student readers and the general public. To that end, they ground their editorial practices in accessibility,describing their edited texts as "standardized, Americanized, and lightly modernized" (IS). Their notes for each work are also geared toward accessibility and comprehension; for example, their first footnote to the selections from Dorothy Leigh's TheMother's Blessing places this work in its generic context as a "mother's legacy;' briefly explaining the genre and directing readers to further information on both genre and work (29nl). Dowd and Festa also use their notes to define unfamiliar...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 291-294
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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