Women had little impact on writing in the renaissance, or so common wisdom believes, but a new exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library proves otherwise. The exhibition showcases the work of more than 50 women from Britain, France and Italy from 1500-1700.
Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700, at the Folger through May 20, 2012, features such writers as Veronica Franco, Lady Anne Clifford and Aphra Behn.
In an article for the New York Times Art & Design page, reviewer Edward Rothstein writes:
But the overall impression of these examples, gathered from the library’s collections along with loans from other institutions, is of an astonishing culture of writing that is neither well known nor comfortably suited to contemporary formulas. Far from being shunned, deprived and dismissed, these are women whose learning and ambition were nurtured by families, who established networks of friendships and taste, and who eventually influenced religious and cultural life as public figures.