Bedford, Davis and Kelly 2006

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Bedford, Ronald, Lloyd Davis and Philippa Kelly, eds. Early Modern Autobiography: Theories, Genres, Practices. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.

Textualizing an Urban Life: The Case of Isabella Whitney, by Jean E. Howard (217-233)

Whitney is "an interesting and important example of an early modern subject who composed in verse an 'autobiographical' account of a female life in primarily secular terms" (218)

"I will argue that the urban milieu in which Whitney was immersed enabled her to imagine a female life in which one could relinquish the overdetermined social roles of maidservant and prospective wife and tentatively assume the position,t ypically gendered male, of social critic and urban writer." (218)

book has "autobiographical effect" (220)

"Immersion in the life of England's capital city thus provides the contitions of possibility for Whitney to textualize a female life in a particular way." (220)

the Wyll is "more than a poetic will. It is also an urban chorography and complaint, and as such it allows Whitney to assume an authoritative position as an anatomist of urban ills and the proponent of a cure" (226)

the Wyll says nothing about the churchs or great monuments; focuses on mundane ascpects of London -- takes the perspective of a female household servant