‘Scripture its own interpreter’: Mary Martha Sherwood, the Bible and female autobiography
Cocks, N. (2011) ‘Scripture its own interpreter’: Mary Martha Sherwood, the Bible and female autobiography. Nineteenth Century Gender Studies , 7 (3). ISSN 1556-7524
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This is a reading of the work of Mary Martha Sherwood, the Victorian Evangelist and Children’s Author (and pupil at the Abbey School, Reading). Based upon research on Sherwood’s private correspondences and diary conducted at UCLA with the aid of a Mitzi Myers (this before my arrival at Reading), the essay offers a radical reinterpretation of her work. Previously understood in terms of a rigid, if self-contradictory and ‘anxious’, Evangelism, the essay reads the diary through Sherwood’s little known Biblical scholarship. Through this I argue that Sherwood grants her own writing the status of Biblical truth precisely because of its contradictions and ‘anxiety’.
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