Flesh and Spirit: An anthology of seventeenth-century women's writing (BOK)
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This anthology makes accessible to readers ten little-known and under-studied works by seventeenth-century women (edited from manuscript and print) that explore the relationship between spiritual and physical health in the period. Providing a detailed and engaging introduction to the issues confronted when studying women's writing from this era, the anthology also examines female interpretations of illness, exploring beliefs that toothache and miscarriage could be God's punishments, but also, paradoxically, that such terrible suffering could be understood as proof that a believer was eternally beloved. The extracts in the anthology explore how illness was an important part of women's religious conversion, often confirming religious belief, but also how women could advise others about their physical and spiritual health in manuscript and print. The anthology includes a thorough introduction to the period's medical and religious beliefs, as well as an introduction to contemporary ideas about women's physical and spiritual make up. Each of the ten extracts also has its own preface, highlighting relevant contexts and further reading, and is fully annotated.