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'Her book'

Early modern women as writers, printers, and readers

4 December 2019

As part of the Caius Women 40 anniversary celebrations, we have delved into the Library collections to find examples of women as writers, printers and readers in the early modern period. In this period few women received a full education, and the range of texts considered suitable for their reading was narrow. Nevertheless a few women were able to achieve success as authors, and many more in the book trade. These women's names are printed in their books for all to see; the evidence of women as readers or owners of books is more haphazard, but we have found women's names inscribed in religious and devotional works, household manuals, histories, poetry and plays. Whether writers, printers or readers, these exceptional women stand for those whose names and works have been lost, and for many more who left no mark.