Secretaries of God: Women Prophets in Late Medieval and Early Modern England
Diane Watt sets aside the conventional hiatus between the medieval and early modern periods in her study of women's prophecy, following the female experience from medieval sainthood to radical Protestantism. The English women prophets and visionaries whose voices are recovered here all lived between the twelfth and the seventeenth centuries and claimed, through the medium of trances and eucharistic piety, to speak for God. They include Margery Kempe and the medieval visionaries, Elizabeth Barton (the Holy Maid of Kent), the Reformation martyr Anne Askew and other godly women described in John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, and Lady Eleanor Davies as an example of a woman prophet of the Civil War. The strategies women devised to be heard and read are exposed, showing that through prophecy they were often able to intervene in the religious and political discourse of the their times: the role of God's secretary gave them the opportunity to act and speak autonomously and publicly. Winner of Foster Watson Memorial Gift for 1998. Professor Diane Watt is Head of the School of English and Languages, University of Surrey.
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25 Henry VIII Acts and Monuments Anna Trapnel Anne Askew apocalyptic Archbishop argued Askew's text authority Bale's Barton's prophecies beliefs Bibliography Bishop Book of Margery Bridget of Sweden Cambridge Catherine of Siena Catholic Christ Christian Christina of Markyate Church claimed condemned CSPD death described discourse divine Early Modern edition Eleanor Davies Elizabeth Barton England English Reformation examination example execution female feminine Foxe's God's Henry VIII heresy Hindle History Holy Maid interpretation John Bale Julian of Norwich Kempe's King Lady Eleanor Lambarde Late Medieval lattre examinacyon letter literary Lollard London Lord Margery Kempe martyr marueilous woorke Medieval Women Middle Ages mystical narrative Oxford Perambulation persecution piety political prophecy popular predictions printed Protestant published Religion religious Renaissance restitution of prophecy revelations role saints Scripture Sermon seventeenth century spiritual St Bridget Studies Syon Thomas tion tracts tradition Tudor visionary visions voice warning Whatmore Wing woman women prophets word writing