The correspondence of the Boyle women
The EU-funded WEN project will examine how one family of seventeenth-century women corresponded across the European territories. Dating from 1605 to 1691, more than 350 manuscript letters survive from the Boyle women, the wife, daughters, daughters-in-law, and grand-daughters of Richard Boyle, the 1st earl of Cork. While the hugely successful landowner/politician Boyle and his sons have received considerable scholarly attention, the rich epistolary legacy of the Boyle women has remained largely unexplored. Spanning three different generations, the women’s extant letters offer a rare perspective on the gendered experience at a time of tumultuous change in Ireland and Britain. Transforming our understanding of the relationship between literature, history, and women’s writing, this study’s findings will be disseminated via a website, a major scholarly edition, a conference and a co-edited volume of essays.