Western Libraries

ENGL 4220G Writing Women in Early Modern England: Class Activity

Writing Women in Early Modern England: Class Activity

Starting Your Research

a.)  Learn more about Elizabeth Cary.  Who was she? What did she write?  Use the following reference sources:

Orlando (also available in the library homepage under "databases")

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

b.)  Which reference tool did you prefer and why?  Consider the content and layout of each entry.  Did one reference tool provide more detailed information than the other?  Which tool was easier to search?  Did either tool have any special features?  Record your findings on the chart paper provided.

c.)  Was the word "divorce" used in the Early Modern period?  Try the Oxford English Dictionary (OED Online) to discover the etymology of the word.

Finding Primary and Historic Resources

a.)  Working in groups, find primary sources about divorce in Early Modern England using each of  the following tools:

Early English Books Online

Defining Gender

Perdita Manuscripts

b.)  Which database produced the best results?  How did you search this database?  What search terms did you use?  What kinds of sources did you find?  (eg. primary v. secondary; essays, prose, poetry, life writings, etc.).  Present your findings to the class.

Finding Secondary Resources

a.)  Working individually, find books or articles about Elizabeth Cary's treatment of divorce.  If you wish, you may also frame your search using a research question of your choosing.  Focus on one of the following databases:

Western Libraries Catalogue

MLA International Bibliography

Literature Online (LION)

Iter:  Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Use the rubric provided in order to guide your research process.  If you find that your search is not successful, you may try another database.