Women, Food Exchange, and Governance in Early Modern England

  • Madeline Bassnett

Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Madeline Bassnett
    Pages 1-22
  3. Madeline Bassnett
    Pages 103-138
  4. Madeline Bassnett
    Pages 213-218
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 219-248

About this book


This book is about the relationship of food and food practices to discourses and depictions of domestic and political governance in early modern women’s writing. It examines the texts of four elite women spanning approximately forty years: the Psalmes of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke; the maternal nursing pamphlet of Elizabeth Clinton, Dowager Countess of Lincoln; the diary of Margaret, Lady Hoby; and Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth’s prose romance, Urania. It argues that we cannot gain a full picture of what food meant to the early modern English without looking at the works of women, who were the primary managers of household foodways. In examining food practices such as hospitality, gift exchange, and charity, this monograph demonstrates that women, no less than men, engaged with vital social, cultural and political processes.


Mary Wroth Elizabeth Clinton Mary Sidney Herbert Hospitality Food studies Gender Political discourse

Authors and affiliations

  • Madeline Bassnett
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of English and Writing StudiesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Bibliographic information