Jane Anger

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Jane Anger was an English author of the late sixteenth century. The only evidence of her extant is Her Protection for Women, a pamphlet published in London in 1589, of which only one original copy survives. The full title is Jane Anger her protection for women, to defend them against the scandalous reportes of a late surfeiting lover, and all other like venerians that complaine so to bee overcloyed with women's kindnesse.

While her name is possibly pseudonymous, Anger is a legitimate English surname and there is some internal evidence that it may be genuine, as may the claim of being a gentlewoman: the Latin tags, various citations, and knowledge of history all indicate an educated writer.[1]

Jane Anger was responding directly to Thomas Orwin's Boke His Surfeit in Love, with a farwel to the folies of his own phantasie (Licensed 1588; no longer extant). She argues that men only see women as objects of sexual desire, and that once that desire is satisfied, they abandon them. The Protection combines classical myths with vernacular polemic. According to a modern commentator, "Protection is peppered with classical Latin quotes, feminist interpretations of the Bible, jabs at men and their poor logic, and references to events of antiquity, to strong and virtuous women classical and contemporary women, and to women's inherent moral superiority. Well does Anger refute Orwin's claim that women are lustful and untrustworthy."[2]

A sample of Anger's polemic:

The greatest fault that doth remaine in us women is, that we are too credulous, for could we flatter as they can dissemble, and use our wittes well, as they can their tongues ill, then never would any of them complaine of surfeiting. But if we women be so perillous cattell as they terme us, I marvell that the Gods made not Fidelitie as well a man, as they created her a woman, and all the morall vertues of their masculine sex, as of the feminine kinde, except their Deities knewe that there was some soverainty in us women, which could not be in them men.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Anne Lake Prescott, “Anger, Jane (fl. 1588),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 14 Apr. 2007.
  2. ^ Jane Anger Her Protection for Women
  3. ^ Jane Anger Her Protection for Women

Resources[edit]

  • O'Malley, S. G. The Early Modern Englishwoman: a Facsimile Library of Essential Works. Pt 1, Vol. 4 (1996).
  • Prescott, Anne Lake. “Anger, Jane (fl. 1588).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 14 Apr. 2007.
  • Travitsky, B.S. and P. Cullen, eds. The Early Modern Englishwoman: a Facsimile Library of Original Works, Part 1, Printed writings, 1500-1640. Aldershot, 1996.

External links[edit]

Bibliography