Tuesday, September 29, 2015

15C-17C Women - Reading, Writing, & Publishing Books



Agnolo Bronzino (Italian artist, 1503-1572) Elenora di Toledo (1522-1562)

Paintings of women reading indoors have been popular for centuries.  Women have also written and published books for centuries.

Agnolo Bronzino (Italian artist, 1503-1572) Laura Battiferri c 1550-55



Domenico Zampieri or Domenichino (Italian painter, 1581–1641) Sybil



Gabriel Metsu (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1629-1667) A Woman Sleeping



Gerrit Dou (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1613–1675) Rembrandt's Mother 1631




This publisher was probably  Jane Bowyer, who on 27 December 1634, married Andrew Coe in the church of St George the Martyr in Southwark.  Andrew was an trainee printer who was served an 
apprenticeship with the Stationers’ Company under George Miller beginning in 1630.  At some point around the end of June 1644, her husband died, and Jane took over the running of the press. The business went to their son Andrew who was age 6 at the time. The press was used by John Clowes in the late 1640s.  Jane apparently retained the business, finally handing over the responsibilities to her son in his twenties. His name appears in the 1660s, and his name also appears at various points before that, with the formulation “Printed by J. Coe and A. Coe,"

Giovanni Battista Moroni (Late Italian Renaissance painter, c 1520–1578) Abess Lucrezia Agliardi Vertova



Giovanni Battista Moroni (Late Italian Renaissance painter, c 1520–1578) Portrait of a Woman with a Book



Hans Holbein the Younger (German artist, 1497-1543) Portrait of Lady Guilford 1527



Levina Teerlinc (Flemish-born artist, 1510-1576) Elizabeth I when Princess c 1559



Eliz. Allde, dwelling neere Christ- Church, seems to be printing as early as 1598.  She published mostly religious works by a variety of authors & worked with a wide variety of stationers around London Bridge.  Her press seems to be successful & she seems to be financially independent. She continued to publish through the 1633. 

Pieter Janssens Elinga (Dutch Golden Age painter, 1623–1682) Woman Reading 1660



Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Dutch painter, 1606-1669) Rembrandt’s Mother Reading 1629



Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Dutch painter, 1606-1669) Rembrandt's Mother Reading the Staten Bible 1631



Sarah Griffin inherited an established printing house founded in 1590.  Her mother-in-law, Anne Griffin, was in charge of the business from 1634 to 1643, & she gradually transferred the business to her son Edward (Sarah's husband), beginning in 1638. Sarah inherited the business when Edward died in 1652; and began printing jointly with her son, Bennett, in 1671.  She is recorded as a printer in the Stationers' Company records until 1673.

Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian painter, 1532-1625) Self Portrait 1554 The book reads Sophonisba Angussola virgo seipsam fecit 1554 or Sophonisba Anguissola, a virgin, made this herself in 1554.



Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian painter, 1532-1625) The Artist's Sister Elena Anguissola as a Nun 1551



Titian Tiziano Vercelli (Italian painter, 1488- 1576) Empress Isabel of Portugal Reading a Book



Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462–1521) Maria Magdalena



Amico Aspertini (Italian painter, c 1474–1552) Female Saint Holding a Book c 1510-20



Hanna Barret's name appears in a list of London Publishers, "whether members of the Stationers Company or not."  London Bookseller .... H. B.— , Eis Widow, Hannah Barret. 1578-1687. 
The listing as a widow probably indicates that she inherited the business from her husband.  She published many books including Francis Bacon's translation of "Psalmes" into verse in 1625.

Lucia Anguissola (Italian artist, 1532-1625) Self-Portrait 1557



Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Mary Magdalene 1445



1520s Bernardino Licinio (Italian painter, c 1489–1565) Portrait of a Lady



Hannah Allen was born into a family of booksellers & bookbinders, & she married Benjamin Allen, a bookseller.  After the death of her husband in 1646, Hannah Allen inherited his business.  Her name appears on imprints for about 5 years.  She published works by radical puritan authors & worked with a wide variety of stationers, a fact that suggests her press was successful & financially independent.  After freeing her apprentice, Livewell Chapman, in 1650, she married him, & her name disappears from the press's imprints. Legally, the business became his upon their marriage, although she probably remained involved.

1540 Angnolo Bronzino, Agnolo di Cosimo, (Italian Mannerist artist, 1503-1572) Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatchi



1540 Hans Eworth (c 1520-1547) Portrait of Lady Dacre



1560s Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, 1528-1588) Portrait of a Lady



Anne Seile (or Anna & Ann) inherited the bookselling business of Henry Seile, when he died in 1661.  She published books under her own name until 1669. 

1565 Parrasio Micheli (Italian artist, fl 1547-d. 1578) Portrait of a Woman



Bernardino Licinio (Italian artist, c 1489–1565) Portrait of a Woman



Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, 1528-1588) Lady or Saint Agnes



In this instance, a woman bookseller employed a woman printer to publish her book.  Mary Clark was the widow of Andrew Clark, a printer.  She maintained a printing business in Aldersgate, London, from 1677 to 1696.  Ann Mearn (or Mearne) was part of an influential family of booksellers & bookbinders.  Her husband, Samuel Mearne, was a former warden & master of the Stationers' Company, stationer to Charles II, & printed quality books with gold tooled designs.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch artist, 1606-1669) Artemisia or Sophonisbe


Thanks to the Special Collections & Rare Books librarian Kelli Hansen for her additional information in her blog.  For more on Early Modern women publishers & printers, see “‘Print[ing] your royal father off’: early modern female stationers and the gendering of the British book trades”, TEXT: An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies, 15 (2003), 163-86.


1 comment:

  1. Fabulous collection. Will come back again and again to study it. I think it's so important to celebrate women's accomplishments and accomplished women. Though the prevailing climate may have been male dominated, so many women achieved so many great things. marcycasterline.blogspot.com

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