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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMy dissertation is a compilation, contextualization, and analysis of thirty-five Stuart women's diaries. My introduction clarifies differences between Puritan and Anglican diaries, provides an overview of the roles of women in the diarist movement, and considers the benefits and consequences of participation in this movement. I also review central issues and texts in relevant scholarship. Chapter one, "The Early Stuart Period," chronicles generic origins of Stuart diaries and examines three lifewriters. "The Civil War and Interregnum" focuses on texts that foreground the horrors of that era, such as aggression by soldiers, spousal arrest, and forced marriage. War diarists deployed God and religion in an attempt to make sense of the chaos and perceived injustice that characterized their wartime experience. "Contexts, Conventions, and Communities" explores the cultural agendas which fueled the diarist movement. I engage with Mary Rich as a model diarist whose self-representation is shaped by clerical mandates and models. During Cromwell's reign, Puritans published diary manuals designed to teach the received method of spiritual journal-keeping, and Rich follows the directions therein. Her texts adhere to sectarian conventions, and she writes in the context of a diary community consisting of clerics, friends, and relatives. "Youth, Marriage, and Motherhood" surveys themes central to diarists writing in the Restoration era. Diarists are outspoken on the topic of marriage, and they are extremely emotive on the subject of their children's deaths. I examine the narrative strategies available to mothers attempting to negotiate their grief within culturally prescribed boundaries. "The Diary Elegy" considers the phenomenon whereby clerics published excerpts from the diaries of deceased Protestants as a means of establishing the piety of these elegized subjects. "Reflections on the Sacred: A Study of Mystical Diaries" situates the journals of the nonconformist Jane Lead and her disciple Ann Bathurst in a mystical tradition. In "The Late Stuart Period," a more secular style of diary gained popularity. However, religious persecution ensured that the spiritual diary--a relatively private form of worship--remained important. My annotated index of diarists includes manuscript and publication details, biographical information, and sample diary entries for each diarist in this study.
Degree ProgramGraduate College