© 2002

Writing Women’s History since the Renaissance

  • Authors
  • Provides a broad survey of the development of women's historical writing from the Renaissance up to the end of the twentieth century
    Traces recurrent themes and the development of feminist ideas as they emerge through women's historical writing
    Explores a subject much studied by undergraduates, and which attracts a great deal of general interest

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    1. Mary Spongberg
      Pages 1-11
  3. Men’s History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Mary Spongberg
      Pages 15-33
  4. Women’s History

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-308

About this book


The complaint of Catherine Morland in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, that history has 'hardly any women at all' is not an uncommon one. Yet there is evidence to suggest that women have engaged in historical writing since ancient times.

This study traces the history of women's historical writing, reclaiming the lives of individual women historians, recovering women's historical writings from the past and focusing on how gender has shaped the genre of history. Mary Spongberg brings together for the first time an extensive survey of the progress of women's historical writing from the Renaissance to the present, demonstrating the continuities between women's historical writings in the past and the development of a distinctly woman-centred historiography.

Writing Women's History since the Renaissance also examines the relationship between women's history and the development of feminist consciousness, suggesting that the study of history has alerted women to their unequal status and enabled them to use history to achieve women's rights. Whether feminist or anti-feminist, women who have had their historical writings published have served as role models for women seeking a voice in the public sphere and have been instrumental in encouraging the growth of a feminist discourse.


biography consciousness feminism Focusing gender revolution Romanticism women

About the authors

MARY SPONGBERG is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She is the author of Feminizing Venereal Disease (Macmillan, 1997), which was short-listed for the Premier's History Prize.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Writing Women’s History since the Renaissance
  • Authors M. Spongberg
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2002
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Social & Cultural Studies Collection Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-72667-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-72668-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-230-20307-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 308
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics Historiography and Method
  • Buy this book on publisher's site