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CORDIS

Women's Epistolary Networks, 1600-1700: Ireland and Beyond

Project description

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.

Objective

Collaborating with Dr Ramona Wray (RW) of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), an authority in editing and early modern women’s writing, the experienced researcher, Dr Ann-Maria Walsh (AMW), will undertake a fellowship – Women’s Epistolary Networks, 1600-1700: Ireland and Beyond (WEN) – to examine how one family of seventeenth-century women corresponded across European territories. At the centre of the fellowship are the 350+ manuscript letters produced between 1605 and 1691 by the Boyle women – the wife, daughters, daughters-in-law and grand-daughters of the 1st Earl of Cork. These extant and largely unexplored letters reflect the perspectives of three different generations and coincide with a hugely significant and tumultuous period in Irish, British and European history. Interweaving the disciplines of English, history, gender studies, Irish studies and European Studies, the fellowship will transform understandings of the relationship between literature, history and women’s writing. The fellowship will facilitate AMW’s mobility and produce a website, a major scholarly edition, an interdisciplinary conference and a co-edited volume of essays. Relevant training will run throughout the fellowship. A secondment will ground the fellowship’s archival scholarship in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and equip AMW with practical experience of archiving, curatorship and electronic cataloguing. This will allow AMW to develop the skills necessary to work effectively across European archives and embed the intersectoral skills increasingly required of an academic today. In addition, the mentorship of RW will provide an apprenticeship in editing which, alongside a previously published monograph, will establish AMW as a leading scholar of seventeenth century women’s history and literature. In this way, the fellowship will advance AMW in her scholarly achievements and richly enhance her career prospects.

Coordinator

THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST
Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Address
UNIVERSITY ROAD LANYON BUILDING
BT7 1NN Belfast
United Kingdom

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Region
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Belfast
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 212 933,76