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Building on the turn to religious and political networks in the field of early modern women’s writing, the Introduction draws on the theory of intersectionality and the historiography of Puritan culture to argue that uses of the female voice in early Stuart England cut across lines of gender to build coalitions and undermine the essentialism on which the field is based. Challenging critics who suggest that early modern male ventriloquism leads to repression of the female voice, the Introduction offers the counter-example of Thomas Scott, who uses Esther’s words to articulate his own radical politics. Situating the present study as a necessary intervention in a field that is increasingly marginalized even as its archive has ballooned and its dispersal celebrated, this book answers the call for a larger narrative that puts the female subject and her voice at the heart of the early Stuart political imaginary.
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