Betraying our selves : forms of self-representation in early modern English texts


    • Dragstra, Henk
    • Ottway, Sheila
    • Wilcox, Helen


Betraying our selves : forms of self-representation in early modern English texts

edited by Henk Dragstra, Sheila Ottway and Helen Wilcox

(Early modern literature in history)

Macmillan Press, 2000

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Includes bibliographical references and index



A study of the autobiographical instinct in a variety of 16th and 17th-century modes of writing in English, from letters and memoirs to pastoral, polemic and street ballads. The book's central concern is how "selves" are "betrayed" in texts, particularly in the centuries before autobiography was a recognised genre. It suggests that self representation in the early modern period was often indirect, emerging in oblique and surprising ways, and thereby leads us to look afresh at the era and its texts, as well as the definition of autobiography itself.


  • Acknowledgements - Notes on the Contributors - Introduction - Prologue: The Poet as Subject: Literary Self-Consciousness in Gower's Confessio Amanti s
  • S.Meecham-Jones - The Construction of an Author: Pietro Aretino and the Elizabethans
  • H.Hendrix - The Vacacyon of Johan Bale : Protestant Rhetoric and the Self
  • P.Happi - Songs, Sonnets and Autobiography: Self-Representation in Sixteenth Century Verse Miscellanies
  • E.Heale - 'So Much Worth': Autobiographical Narratives in the Word of Lady Mary Wroth
  • M.Wynne-Davies - 'Child of Time': Bacon's Uses of Self-Representation
  • W.A.Sessions - Her Own Life, Her Own Living?: Text and Materiality in Seventeenth Century Englishwomen's Autobiographical Writings
  • H.Wilcox - The Two Pilgrimages of the Laureate of Ashover, Leonard Wheatcroft
  • C.C.Brown - They Only Lived Twice: Public and Private Selfhood in the Autobiographies of Anne, Lady Halkett and Colonel Joseph Bampfield
  • S.Ottway - [Re]constructing the Past: The Diametric Lives of Mary Rich
  • R.Wray - Last Farewell to the World: Semi-Oral Autobiography in Seventeenth Century Broadside Ballads
  • H.Dragstra - Slightly Different Meanings: Insanity, Language and the Self in Early Modern Autobiographical Pamphlets
  • A.Ingram - 'Oppression Makes a Wise Man Sad': The Suffering of the Self in Autobiographical Tradition
  • E.Graham - Index

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