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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

Two CRRS Publications Win Awards from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

It is with great pleasure that we announce that two of our recent publications have been awarded prizes by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women:


vol_20_final.inddThe 2013 SSEMW Award for Best Translation was won by Meredith K. Ray and Lynn Lara Westwater for their translated edition of Arcangela Tarabotti, Letters Familiar and Formal (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, vol. 20).

“Ray and Westwater’s edited translation of the letters of Arcangela Tarabotti provides a valuable window into the life and works of the unwilling Venetian nun. Confined to the cloister, Tarabotti never gave up her struggle against her forced monachization in treatises condemning male perfidy and the practice of consigning unwanted daughters to the convent. Her collected letters testify to her eager participation in the broader literary world and their publication in1650 was designed to assert her own identity as a writer and to demonstrate her intellectual and social ties to her many correspondents. She would surely be delighted by this elegant and scholarly edition of her letters, which reestablishes her importance. A lucid and beautifully written introduction situates social and religious trends in seventeenth-century Venice, and describes Tarabotti’s cultural, political, and literary context as a nun for whom the convent was both an irksome prison and a space in which – despite increasingly strict enclosure – she was able to flourish as a woman of letters. The letters themselves, whose ornate style and apparent lack of chronological or thematic organization pose a challenge to any editor, have been skillfully translated and carefully edited with extensive and helpful footnotes. Whether or not they read Italian, scholars will find Ray and Westwater’s work to be a highly useful guide to a fascinating figure.” — SSEMW award report.


OV19.inddThe 2013 SSEMW Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition was won by Elizabeth Heale for her edition of Lady Margaret Douglas and Others, The Devonshire Manuscript: A Women’s Book of Courtly Poetry (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, vol. 19.)

“Elizabeth Heale’s edition of The Devonshire Manuscript brings this important collection of Tudor poetry into print for the first time in an outstanding contribution to Toronto’s The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe Series. Heale’s subtitle, “A Women’s Book of Courtly Poetry,” announces her intention to demonstrate the gendered production and circulation of The Devonshire Manuscript, better known for its inclusion of the work of such canonical male poets as Sir Thomas Wyatt than for the women who owned, copied, commented upon, edited, and contributed to the manuscript. Heale’s introduction meticulously outlines the varied evidence for reconstructing the composition practices of Mary (Howard) Fitzroy, Lady Mary Douglas, and Mary Shelton, illuminating their active participation—and interventions—in the literary culture of the Henrican court. This beautifully produced volume preserves our sense of the original by including comparative plates of the various hands that contributed to the manuscript and by graphically reproducing the numerical and symbolic annotations in the modern print transcription. While it may seem incredible that such a significant manuscript has been unavailable in print until now, we can only be grateful that the first authoritative edition was undertaken by Heale, whose intelligent, careful, and graceful scholarly edition brings this richly documented example of early modern women’s literary practices vividly into view.” — SSEMW award report.


Congratulations to all!

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