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Anger, Jane


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


The pamphlet writer and ‘gentlewoman’ Jane Anger ( fl . 1588/89) was the author of Jane Anger, her protection for women, to defend them against the scandalous reportes of a late surfeiting lover, and all otherlike venerians that complaine so to bee overcloyed with womens kindnesse , written in 1588 and published in 1589 by the London printer Thomas Orwin. The first ‘defence of women’ written by a female author in English, and explicitly dedicated to a female readership, Anger's text has precedents in European works, including those of Christine de Pisan and Hélisenne de Crenne; it is also an important forerunner of such seventeenth-century defences as Rachel Speght's A mouzell for Melastomus (1617), Ester Sowernam's Ester hath hang'd Haman (1617), and Constantia Munda's The worming of a mad dogge (1617). As such, Anger's work represents a particular milestone in the English Renaissance experience of the literary debate on women known as the querelle des femmes . Beyond her gentle status, there is almost nothing known about Anger herself. Her name may have been a pseudonym, although Anger was a well-known surname in southern England in the sixteenth century. While its ‘chollericke vaine’ is peculiarly apt, facilitating a series of puns throughout the text, as a pseudonym it is oddly plain, with little of the biblical or classical allusive weight one might expect. Anger's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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