Reading, Writing and Gender in Early Modern Scotland

Jane Barbara Stevenson

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Abstract

Why were there so few Scottish women writers? This question is addressed by looking at literacy and the book market in Scotland, noting both its conservatism, and the extreme scarcity of chapbook and ballad literature, and arguing the relationship between reading and writing, the importance of chapbooks in the formation of English writers, and that Scotswomen were hampered both as writers and readers by Scotland’s investment in Latin, which meant that, whereas Englishmen preferred classics in translation, Scots did not, and so their books were inaccessible to their womenfolk. I end by suggesting that women’s creative expression can be found, but in the Scottish ballads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-374
Number of pages40
JournalThe Seventeenth Century
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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