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Encyclopedia of women in the Renaissance : Italy, France, and England /

Other Authors: Robin, Diana Maury, Larsen, Anne R., Levin, Carole, 1948-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, 2007
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Review by Choice Review

The editors of this encyclopedia define the Renaissance broadly in time (about 1350-1700), but they limit the geographic scope of their project to Italy, France, and England. This leaves out relevant topics in Spain and the Germanic countries. The focus of this work is largely literary and cultural. It offers good coverage of women writers, artists, musicians, and patrons. It also gives attention to political and legal topics, and to some social phenomena, e.g., courtesans and prostitution; however, coverage of economic matters, like domestic slavery, paid servants, and estate management, is minimal. Some articles, like "Education," are subdivided, with each portion handled by a different scholar well versed in a particular field. The book includes a roster, brief introduction, chronology, A-Z listing of entries covering persons and subjects, and an extensive bibliography covering works as recent as 2006. The index is very useful for topics that do not have main subject headings in the encyclopedia itself.Entries for individuals begin with an italicized set of terms describing each person's areas of endeavor. Each article ends with a set of see also references and a bibliography. Most of the articles are solid and well written. A few, like the entry for Anne de Beaujeu, fall short of what might have been done, but they are substantial enough for the beginner. This will be a useful tool for undergraduate collections; for larger collections it will supplement the six-volume Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, edited by Paul Grendler (CH, Jun'00, 37-5434). Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-/upper-level undergraduates. T. M. Izbicki Johns Hopkins University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Historian Joan Kelly's assertion in the 1970s that there was, in fact, no Renaissance for women served to spur interest in and research about the role and contributions of women in Europe between 1350 and 1700, the years roughly assigned to the Renaissance. This encyclopedia benefits from 30 years' worth of investigation and writing as well as the publication of works by Renaissance women. While 135 of the 180 entries are biographical, the remainder are stylish essays on topics as varied as Alchemy; Marriage; Music and women; Old age and women; Printers, the book trade, and women; and Sappho and the Sapphic tradition.  As indicated by the subtitle, the focus is on Italy, France, and England, and the intent is to give as full a picture as possible of the life of women during the time. The success of the attempt is a tribute to the editors as well as to the 103 contributors, most of whom have college or university affiliations. Following a chronology that serves to place women's concerns and achievements in the context of better-known historical occurrences, entries are presented in alphabetical order. All entries are followed by see also listings and bibliographies. Biographical essays begin with the birth and death dates for their subject and a one- or two-line description of her contributions. Black-and-white illustrations are included with some entries and extend the text well. Length of entries is proportional to importance or depth, with broad topics such as Work and women receiving more page space than most of the biographical entries.  Interesting, informative, and leading seamlessly from article to article by means of the cross-referencing, the volume provides a picture of the tenor of life for both lower-class and privileged women. It concludes with an extensive bibliography, divided into primary and secondary sources. The index is comprehensive and accurate. Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance is specific to the topic of women in a way that more general works, such as Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (Scribner, 1999), are not. One of those rare reference books that is not only a good source of information but a fascinating read, this is an excellent addition for most academic and large public libraries.--Welton, Ann Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-There are numerous excellent reference works dealing with the Renaissance but few focus specifically on women. This work covers how women of the period lived; how they were treated and viewed; and the literary, artistic, musical, social, political, scientific, and religious contributions they made. Most of the roughly 150 entries are biographies. They include profiles of Marguerite de Navarre, Catherine of Siena, Elizabeth I, Isabella d'Este, Louise Labe, Artemisia Gentileschi, Barbara Strozzi, Anne de Graville, Anna of Denmark, and Sofonisba Anguissola. Black-and-white reproductions of period portraits are included in many of the profiles. Subjects include alchemy; contraception and birth control; religious persecution; feminism; power, politics, and women; Sappho and the Sapphic tradition; work; and literary culture. Each of the alphabetically arranged essays is about one-half to two pages long, and is signed, concise, and well written, and the bibliography is extensive. An excellent addition.-Madeleine G. Wright, New Hampton School, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.