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Intertextuality in Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694) and in Reflections upon Marriage (1706)

Intertextuality in Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694) and in Reflections upon Marriage (1706)

This post is part of a series authored by our collaborators on the Intertextual Networks project. For more information, see here. 

By Ioanna Kyvernitou, National University of Ireland, Galway

 For Intertextual Networks, I am evaluating the markup in two works of Mary Astell (1666–1731) as found in Women Writers Online–A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, for the Advancement of Their True and Greatest Interest (1694) and the third edition of Reflections upon Marriage (1706)–in order to consider practices for encoding intertextuality. Astell, a philosopher and theologian who supported women’s right to education, is considered one of the earliest English feminist writers. She is also known for her critiques of the philosophers John Norris and John Locke. Current scholarship analyses her writings within the context of her political (Toryism), philosophical (Cartesianism-Platonism), and religious (Anglicanism) beliefs. Within this framework, this study aims to identify Astell’s intertextual practices by exploring WWP’s the XML markup–specifically the elements designed to encode bibliographic features (e.g., <quote>, <said>, <bibl>). These two works are treated here as case studies in order to discuss the ways in which XML representation can provide a formal framework for representing complex intertextual practices in literary works.

In my preliminary work, I have identified relevant markup in relation to intertextuality (from the WWP’s Internal Encoding Documentation) in order to query and retrieve the occurrences of those tags from the two XML files as provided by the WWP. Specifically, with the help of Sarah Connell and Syd Bauman, I used XQuery–a language for querying XML data–to search for Astell’s references to proper names (i.e. <persName>, <name>, <placeName>, <orgName>). Further, I investigated the personal names’ structural contexts (<p>), aiming to identify the function of onomastic intertextuality (person and place names). Finally, I searched for biblical, classical and bibliographic references (i.e. <quote>, <said>, <bibl>, and <regMe>) in these works.

In the case of indirect references, which go beyond the straightforward markup of direct quotations, it is necessary to consult secondary literature to help us identify the source(s) of reference and the identity of implicitly noted authors. The challenge is that, on many occasions, there are different interpretations among scholars regarding the source of influence or person quoted (as discussed below). Thus, in incorporating multiple interpretations within the markup, the encoding process becomes more complex and expensive—but also more enriched. While the existing markup does not annotate implicit references to an author or indirect quotes, the Intertextual Networks project will be piloting such encoding in an initial set of texts; the project will also be linking quotations to their sources and authors, which will make retrieval and analysis of quoted passages easier.


 According to the WWP’s internal documentation:

The <quote> element is used to encode material which is identified as originating outside of the passage where it appears, regardless of where the material actually originates. For our purposes, <quote> can include proverbs, mottoes, common sayings, passages from other texts (including fictional passages from imagined texts), or quotations from other parts of the same text in which the quotation appears.

Following this definition, I searched within the XML files for occurrences of the <quote> element in order to identify its use in Astell’s works. In Proposal, is used only four times and in Reflections eighteen. Currently, the WWP uses a pilot encoding in order to implement more detailed markup for cases where quoted material is paraphrased or parodied from its source. For these cases, the @type attribute is used with values of “parody” and “paraphrase”. Some of these conceptual challenges are addressed in the ‘Methods’ section of the proposal for Intertextual Networks: Reading and Citation in Women’s Writing 1450-1850, where it is recommended, similarly to parody and paraphrase, to handle allusions by treating them as special types of quotation and using the TEI @type attribute to characterize quotes as “direct,” “paraphrase,” “allusion” (and other terms as needed).

Along these lines, updating Astell’s XML files with an expanded and more detailed markup–for example, tagging paraphrases, proverbs and echoes–would be useful, especially for retrieval purposes of these instances. This post uses a passage from Reflections to explore how a more in-depth encoding can be made in order to include information concerning: quoted person(s) – explicitly or implicitly mentioned –, paraphrased passages, and ways to connect quote(s) with quoted person(s).

In the passage below (presented first without markup), Astell argues about the role of custom in perpetuating the subordination of women (emphasis added),

That the Cuſtom of the World has put Women, generally ſpeaking, into a State of Subjection, is not deny’d; but the Right can no more be prov’d from the Fact, than the Predominancy of Vice can juſtifie it. A certain great Man has endeavour’d to prove by Reaſons not contemptible, that in the Original State of things the Woman was the Superior, and that her Subjection to the Man is an Effect of the Fall, and the Puniſhment of her Sin. And that Ingenious Theoriſt Mr. Whiſton aſſerts, That before the Fall there was a greater equallity between the two Sexes. However this be, ’tis certainly no Arrogance in a Woman to conclude, that ſhe was made for the Service of God, and that this is her End. Becauſe God made all Things for Himſelf, and a Rational Mind is too noble a Being to be Made for the Sake and Service of any Creature. The Service ſhe at any time becomes oblig’d to pay to a Man, is only a Buſineſs by the Bye. Juſt as it may be any Man’s Buſineſs and Duty to keep Hogs; he was not Made for this, but if he hires himſelf out to ſuch an Employment, he ought conſcientiouſly to perform it. Nor can any thing be concluded to the contrary from St. Paul’s Argument, 1 Cor. II. For he argues only for Decency and Order, according to the preſent Cuſtom and State of things. Taking his Words ſtrictly and literally, they prove too much, in that Praying and Prophecying in the Church are allow’d the Women, provided they do it with their Head Cover’d, as well as the Men; and no inequality can be inferr’d from hence, neither from the Gradation the Apoſtle there uſes, that “the Head of every Man is Chriſt, and that the Head of the Woman man is the Man, and the Head of Chriſt is God” (A2r–A2v)

Astell uses three sources to support her argument. She first notes ‘A certain great Man’ who argued about women’s superiority before the Fall; she then paraphrases William Whiston, a Cambridge theologian; and she concludes with a biblical reference (1 Corinthians 11:3) to support women’s equality. In the current markup, only the biblical reference (i.e. <bibl><regMe>1 Cor. II.</regMe></bibl>) and the direct quote are encoded, whereas the two cases of indirect references are not tagged.

‘A certain great Man’ & ‘Mr. Whiſton

For a more complete encoding, the <quote> element and @type attribute with a value of “paraphrase” could be added to highlight instances of these indirect references, bearing in mind that, as noted in the ‘Methods’ section of the proposal for Intertextual Networks, “the boundaries of paraphrases and allusions are less determinate than those of direct quotations.”

Regarding the authors quoted, in the first case, Astell refers indirectly to ‘A certain great Man’, whereas ‘Mr. Whiſton’ is explicitly named (i.e. <persName ref='p:wwhiston.ycp'>Mr. <hi rend='slant(upright)'>Whiston</hi></persName>). For the latter case, we can also use @role on <persName> to indicate that Mr. Whiston is being referenced as an author; we can use @source on <quote> to point to a bibliography entry, with more detailed information on the source.

 For the “certain great Man,” we could add <rs> with a @type of “author” to mark this as a reference to an author, however indirect; we can also use @ref to point to more information on the identity of this author. In this case, there are different interpretations among scholars regarding the author’s identity. Specifically, Apetrei suggests that it is possible that the “great Man” was Agrippa von Nettesheim, a German polymath, who argued for the superiority of the female sex (131). Springborg, on the other hand, proposes that this could be a reference to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (11). Based on these authorship claims, one approach would be to use @ref to point to an <alt> element, whose @targets would themselves point to personographic entries for the two potential authors. Even where there is no agreement on the quoted person, it would be helpful to incorporate current scholarship in the encoding of the primary text to reflect the different interpretations. This can be achieved, for example, by adding a <note> element in the XML file, discussing the different scholarly interpretations and identities of probable sources.

Biblical and Bibliographic References: ‘St. Paul’s Argument’

The third case is an example of encoding bibliographic references and citations by using the <bibl> element. Within <bibl>, the tag <author> is used to encode the author’s name, if present, along with a nested <persName>. The <regMe> element is used to encode bibliographic references or citations of the Bible or other texts for which a standard or canonical reference system exists.  The WWP internal documentation suggests that <regMe> should be placed within the <bibl> element that encloses the complete reference. Following these definitions, I have counted eight occurrences where <regMe> is nested within <bibl> in Reflections and found none in Proposal.

A closer look at these occurrences, with the XML markup of this passage from Reflections, shows two distinct usages of personal names (the markup below has been simplified for the purposes of this example):

Often a personal name can be a quoted author, as in the case of Saint Paul in the above example. But there are also occasions where personal names are nested within a <quote>, as in the case of ‘Christ’. This is another case where we can use @source as described above to make authorship and other bibliographic information more explicit and queryable. Lastly, before introducing Saint Paul’s quote, as seen above, Astell refers to him as ‘Apostle’. This is one of many examples of coreference–when two or more expressions in a text refer to the same person. Thus, this is another example of where <rs> with @role of “author” and @ref pointing to a persongraphy entry could make the markup more detailed and useful for future research.

The challenges of formally representing the various types of intertextuality mean that the boundaries of structural and interpretive markup become more fluid. The more detailed the markup becomes, the more in-depth understanding of the primary text and its secondary literature is required. This is a process that can be time-consuming, especially for large-scale projects. Nevertheless, investigation of the use of personal names within their surrounding contexts can enrich the representation of intertextuality. As a next step for this study, I will explore further how linguistic and rhetorical emphasis tags (i.e.<emp>, <term>, <distinct>) can be connected to indirect quotation practices in order to identify other implicit references, currently not present in the markup. I will base this on Astell’s practices in her correspondence with John Norris, Letters Concerning the Love of God (1695), aiming to compare references in her three works, and open the way to reconstructing a more complete picture of her intertextual practices.

Works Cited

Apetrei, Sarah Louise Trethewey. Women, Feminism and Religion in Early Enlightenment                

England. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.

Springborg, Patricia. Mary Astell, Political Writings. 1st ed. New York: Cambridge University

Press, 1996. Print.



“‘The Text is Variety’: Contextualizing and Analyzing the Works of Margaret Cavendish with Text Encoding

“‘The Text is Variety’: Contextualizing and Analyzing the Works of Margaret Cavendish with Text Encoding

Below are lecture notes from Sarah Connell’s presentation at the 2017 International Margaret Cavendish Society Conference. The slides are available as a separate file here.

Okay, so, since one of the themes of this conference is how Cavendish was received, I want to begin with a quote about her from a text in Women Writers Online.

So, here we have Elizabeth Benger on Cavendish, speaking of her fertile fancy, her uncommon genius, her wildness and inaccuracy, and her voluminous works. And, as much as this feels like a textbook example of damning with faint praise, I have to say I find myself sympathizing with Benger when she speaks of Cavendish’s wildness—you see, I didn’t come to this project expecting to work on Cavendish at all. I was trying to do research with Women Writers Online as a collection but I found that Cavendish just kept popping up. Her works started to feel wild precisely because they are so voluminous; they represent a very significant percentage of our corpus, so it’s not really surprising that they were so prominent in all of my searches through the collection. But, I’ve found that with Cavendish, it’s not just about sheer numbers; she also was showing up in my research because her texts have a high number of unusual phenomena. It seemed as if, whenever I found some textual feature that was unique to a particular author, that author would be Cavendish. Well, or Eleanor Davies. But, it was Cavendish a lot of the time. So, clearly, Cavendish called for a research project of her own, which is what I’m going to share with you today. But first, I’ll give you a bit of background.

So, as I said, I was working from the Women Writers Online collection, which has about four hundred texts by women. These are largely print texts, although we do have one manuscript collection with the Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson. We have a relatively broad chronological framing, 1526 to 1850, and the texts themselves are quite generically diverse. These texts are published in a web interface called Women Writers Online, but they’re encoded in TEI, which is much more detailed and information-rich than we’re able to show on the web.

And here’s what I mean by information rich; in fact, I’ve simplified this and all other examples of our encoding to make it more readable. TEI markup is a very complicated and diverse topic, so I’ll focus on the basics here. We use elements, such as this <head> element, which marks that “Scene 8” is a heading. Here is a <div> element, for a textual division. The TEI is very, very good at labeling things—saying, for example: this is a stage direction, this is a division, this is a paragraph, this is a speaker label—and it’s very good at marking their boundaries; this stage direction starts here and ends here. The TEI is also good at showing hierarchical relationships, the nesting of textual features; so, here we have a <sp> element, used to mark a dramatic speech—and, inside of that, we have a speaker label and a paragraph. There’s no ambiguity that this speaker label and this paragraph belong together, because they’re both in the same <sp>. In addition to elements, the TEI also has attributes, which are kind of like adjectives. They give more information about their elements. For instance, we have three examples of the @type attribute, one on <div>, asserting that the type of division we have is a scene and two on <stage>, describing which types of stage directions we have. This @who attribute points to a cast list elsewhere in the document, where we’ve defined “ign” as referring to Lady Ignorant. That way, every time she speaks, we’ve marked those speeches as belonging to her in a way that’s easily readable by a computer. There’s no ambiguity, even if the speaker label is missing or incorrect. Okay, so, like I said, this is a big topic, but that covers the basics. Elements both name and mark the boundaries of features within a textual hierarchy and attributes provide more information about elements. My work has been on how we can use this markup in literary research; I’ve been developing methodologies for asking questions about our collection, taking advantage of the really enormous amount of information that’s available in encoded texts. So, turning to Cavendish now.

Here’s what we have of hers. Depending on how you count things, we have at least nine and as many as twenty-seven works by Cavendish, if you count each play separately. When you’re only talking about 400 texts, that really is quite a a high percentage. And, if you use the markup to get into the details of those texts, you can get an even better sense of just how much Cavendish there is.

We have over a million words, more than 15 thousand paragraphs, 13 thousand lines of verse, and 11 thousand dramatic speeches. There are almost 3,500 page breaks, which I had to double-check, because it didn’t seem believable to me. But, that’s correct. In addition to those basic structural elements, we also have markup for quotations and for phrase level features like names of persons and places, as well as the proper names of works, encoded with <title>. So, that’s one way that the markup can give you a sense of what’s in the collection of Cavendish works in WWO. And, here’s another.

As I mentioned, we use the @type attribute to categorize our textual divisions, so you can count those and see how our Cavendish materials fall into the WWP’s categorizations. Essentially, you can use text encoding to get a profile of a particular text or set of texts; there are this many poems, that many scenes, and so on. Even in these basic counts, we’re already starting to see potentially interesting patterns, particularly around paratexts. Cavendish’s works have quite a lot of general prefatory materials, for example, but much less general concluding material. Epilogues and prologues, on the other hand, are nearly evenly balanced. There’s just one advertisement and one table of contents. And so on.

For basic element counts and types of textual divisions, there’s really just too much Cavendish to compare with anyone else in the collection. But, looking at language usage, we can compare different authors. I’ve given you an example of the markup that makes this kind of query possible; the @xml:lang attribute has values from a controlled vocabulary for describing languages. This attribute can go on any element to indicate its language and, if there’s no more appropriate element, you can use <foreign>, as I’ve shown here. So, for all of these authors, French and Latin dominate across the board, with Italian coming in third. But, the relative percentages are different in Cavendish; she has about twice as much Latin as she has French, which does set her out among this group, but puts her in line with Women Writers Online as a whole. In total, we have about 2,000 instances of Latin, 1,600 of French, and 200 of Italian. Relative percentages of Latin and French are very much a distinction of period. If you look in the seventeenth century, there is about four times as much Latin as there is French; in the eighteenth century, there’s twice as much French as there is Latin. Which, I suppose, doesn’t really surprise anyone who’s worked in those periods, but it is I think reassuring to know that markup-based results can be verified by what we already know. Okay so, getting a bit more complex than simple counts, we can also ask questions about where elements of interest are appearing. In my research, I’ve discovered that it’s useful to look at both general patterns, where particular elements most often appear, and at outliers: where there are unusual cases. So, here’s just one such unusual case:

I’ve been doing a fair amount of work on intertextuality, for a current project at the WWP, so I wanted to look at where <title> elements for proper names of works were appearing. For a bit of context, there are more than 5,000 <title> elements in Women Writers Online, and these generally show up in bibliographic citations, notes, advertisements, and, quite often, just in prose paragraphs. By contrast, only about sixty appear in drama as I’ve identified it here, using a fairly conservative definition. As you can see, Cavendish comes in just after Cowley for number of titles named in drama. Now, remember that encoding is really good at making layered textual hierarchies explicit, so once you’ve narrowed to this definition of drama, you can then go look at the elements inside of drama to get more specific about where titles appear. Most of them are in prose rather than verse. About forty of these titles are in the <sp> element, that is they’re named by the characters in the play, about fifteen are in stage directions. In the whole of Women Writers Online, there are just three titles in cast lists; all in the works of, you guessed it, Margaret Cavendish.

Here’s one of those. The paragraph above gives a bit of context from elsewhere in the text and the encoding below shows you the markup I found in my search: essentially, Plays Never Before Printed contains a fragmentary play that was meant to be published with the Blazing World; as Cavendish explains, she found her “genius did not tend that way” so she left the project behind, but did “suffer” the piece to be published in the 1688 Plays collection. Then as the heading in the encoded cast list explains, Cavendish also authored characters’ names for a farce that would have followed the play in the Blazing World. But, the first play being unfinished “the farse was not so much as begun.” Nevertheless, Cavendish did include the farce’s cast list in her collection and that’s what you’re seeing here. To my mind, this is a particularly clear example of how unusual instances in the encoding—title elements within cast lists—are effective at pinpointing noteworthy textual phenomena. You might also have noted that this <title> element references one of Cavendish’s own works, which is something else that can be examined with markup. So, here are Cavendish’s most-named titles.

Our current work on intertextuality will make this search much more precise, but for now we’re still relying a degree of human intervention, and there’s a chance I’ve missed some titles if the spelling variations were significant enough. But, even with that in mind, you can still see some overall patterns. I think the immediately obvious aspect of these results is that the titles Cavendish is naming are, often, Cavendish titles. This isn’t really unusual, though I haven’t seen any other author in WWO reference her own work quite this extensively. In fact, if you look at all of the titles named in all of our seventeenth-century texts, Philosophical and Physical Opinions still comes out in the top three. So, what were other seventeenth-century writers naming? That’s something else that can be queried with the markup.

I ran the same search in the non-Cavendish texts that had publication dates in the 17thc and the results were…rather different. First of all, I should note that the search for <titles>s is actually underreporting biblical references because the WWP uses a different element in cases where writers cite biblical texts by chapter and verse; these are just references to the titles of entire biblical books. With that in mind, I wanted to look at biblical citations as well and I found that, for the seventeenth century, there are another 1869 chapter-and-verse biblical citations. Two of those are in works by Cavendish. So, I think it’s fair to say that her citation practices are measurably different from other seventeenth-century women writers, in ways you can track with text encoding.

Finally, I’d like to close with an example of some research I’ve really just begun. I’m at the stage now of gathering results and I’m not yet sure precisely what all of this means, but that’s actually something I’d hoped that you all might be able to help with. So, I’ve been looking at a particular element, <mcr>, which is is an element that was actually created by the WWP. <mcr> stands for “meaningful change in rendition.” “Rendition” means the appearance of the text, for example, is it italicized, underlined, in all caps. We consider text “renditionally distinct” when its appearance shifts to be different from the text around it, for example words that are italicized when surrounding text isn’t. Often, words will be renditionally distinct if they’re names, or if they’re foreign-language words, or if they’re being emphasized. But sometimes they’ll be renditionally distinct in ways that we can’t attribute to naming or linguistic features and that’s when we use <mcr>, to say: there is a change in rendition here, and we think it’s meaningful, not just decorative, but we’re not able to be more precise about why the rendition has changed.

So, I wanted to examine the words in Cavendish’s texts encoded with <mcr>. Here’s what I’ve found; this is a listing of the most frequent words in <mcr> by unique occurrences, so, for example, the word Atomes also shows up many other times with adjectives like sharp atomes, flat atomes, round atomes, fiery atoms and so on. Here, Cavendish follows a usual pattern for WWO, in which words in <mcr> are generally nouns and usually capitalized. Now, as satisfying as it is to survey entire corpora with a few keystrokes, one thing I’ve learned in my research is that it’s very important to be moving back and forth between collection-wide results and individual texts. And, in fact, one of the things I find really valuable about the methods I’ve been establishing is that they make it possible to move seamlessly between these birds-eye views and the texts on the ground, so to speak. <mcr> usage in Cavendish is a really good example of why it is important to keep individual texts in focus, because, in fact, most of the words in this slide are from a single text.

In fact, of those almost 15,000 <mcr> elements in Cavendish, 13,710 are Poems and Fancies, marking italicization shifts. And when you see this line group, you can start to see how those numbers got so high. It’s worth noting that there is *nothing* in Women Writers Online that comes remotely close to this proliferation of meaningful changes in rendition. The next highest text is Jane Barker’s Poetical Recreations (1688), with about 5,000 <mcr> elements. Judith Murray’s The Gleaner (1798) has about 3,000 and Elizabeth Rowe’s Poems on Several Occasions (1696) has 1800. Only eight texts in the whole collection have more than a thousand <mcr> elements. And, certainly, there are quite a few verses in Poems and Fancies like this one where nearly every noun is italicized.

What I’ve actually discovered, though, is that there are still plenty of nouns that are not distinct; and,  in fact, when you look word-by-word, you can see some interesting patterns in where words are or aren’t distinct. I’ve begun looking at individual words from Poems and Fancies, particularly those that are well represented in both the renditionally distinct and the non-distinct columns. So, by contrast, Atomes is almost always renditionally distinct, to the point where I’d wonder whether the two non-distinct instances are actually errors. With terms like “love” and “reason” that have a more even split, there are pretty clear patterns about which are distinct. When love is used as a verb (as in “love to play”) it tends not to be distinct. When it’s a noun (“love and hate”, for example) it’s likelier to be distinct. When reason is a verb, or used in constructions like “the reason why” it tends not to be distinct. Capital-R Reason as in “The Rule of Reason” tends to be distinct. These aren’t hard and fast differences, but they’re recognizable tendencies. You see the same thing with “feare” and with “care”; noun forms, particularly those referring to abstract concepts, tend to be distinct where verb forms aren’t.

Cases where words are usually distinct, with some exceptions, are also interesting. With Death, the non-distinct cases are all but one lowercase and all but one (a different one) clustered at the end of Poems and Fancies. You see the same sort of thing with “gods”; all but one of the non-distinct instances are lowercased and they’re fairly tightly clustered. I’ve only just started working with this material and I’m still figuring out how to make sense of it all, but I do think there’s something interesting here and, as I said, I’d be grateful for your thoughts.

Finally, I’ve also found that some words, like delight, tend to be non-distinct, so I’ve been looking at the cases where they are distinct to see whether that might have a particular significance. I’ve given you an example of one such usage here, partly because I think it highlights a pattern I want to investigate next—is there a correlation between verses that have very high instances of italicized terms and distinction in words that otherwise tend not to be distinct? This is a fairly large question, but it is one that the encoding makes it possible to answer. So, in the example I’ve included here, not only is delight italicized, but also horses, carts, cows, butter, and milk, among quite a few others. I’ve chosen to end with this verse not just because it does show that high rate of italicization but also because it is an example of the real pleasure I’ve had in making new discoveries in our collections through the research I’ve been doing, since it contains what is very possibly my favorite example of any term inside of <mcr>: I’m speaking, of course, about the unforgettably-named “friendship cheese.” Thank you!


Announcing New Publications to Women Writers Online and Women Writers in Context

Announcing New Publications to Women Writers Online and Women Writers in Context

The WWP is delighted to report that we have added six new texts to Women Writers Online. These are: Hester Chapone’s 1777 A Letter to a New-Married Lady, Emily Clark’s 1819 The Esquimaux (vol. 3), Anne Conway’s 1692 Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, Caroline Cushing’s 1832 Letters, Descriptive of Public Monuments, Scenery, and Manners in France and Spain (vol. 2), Sarah Osborn and Susanna Anthony’s 1807 Familiar Letters, and Mary Pix’s 1699 The False Friend.

In addition to spanning three centuries, these texts highlight the diversity of genres in Women Writers Online, representing travel writing, drama, philosophy, epistolary writing, religious meditation, and the novel. For more information on these texts, and the WWP’s other recent publications, please see this list of new additions to WWO.

Accompanying the publication of these early texts by women, we have added nine new exhibits to Women Writers in Context, an experimental publication series designed to engage readers in exploration and discovery of topics related to early women’s writing.

Some highlights from the new texts in WWO include:

An advertisement for an elixer that the publisher of Conway’s Principles shares “for the good of the public”:

The Elixir Proprietatis (ſo highly commended by the Renowned Paracelſus and Helmont) it reſiſteth all Putrefaction of the Blood, ſtrengtheneth the Digeſtive Faculty. Its Excellent Virtues are prevalent in the Curing of continual FeversQuotidian and Tertian AguesSmall Pox, and Meaſles, or Swine Pox, with other Peſtilential Diſtempers; as alſo the Palſy, Apoplexy, Falling-Sickneſs, Aſthma’s, Tabes, or Conſumption of the Lungs. Its Doſe is from 10 to 20, 30, or 40 drops in a Glaſs of Sack. This Noble Elixir is Philoſophically prepared, by John Spire, Chymico Medicus, at four Shillings the Ounce. Who hath, by his Labour and Study in the Chymical Art, attained unto ſeveral ſecret Arcanums, (not vulgarly known) particularly a Soveraign Remedy for the Gout. If any one is deſirous therefore, or the aforeſaid Elixir Proprietatis, Let them apply themſelves to my Friend, Mr. Dorman Newman, at the King’s Arms in the Poultry, and the Author at his Houſe in Horſly-down-Fair- ſtreet, Southwark; or at his Country Houſe, at the upper end of Twitnam, near the Sign of the White-Hart, in Middleſex.

Some advice on handling a difficult mother-in-law in Chapone’s Letter:

I am told that he is an excellent ſon to a mother, who, with many good qualities, has defects of temper which determined him to decline her continuing to live with him after his marriage. In this he is equally kind and prudent; for though he could himſelf meritoriouſly bear with failings to which he had been accuſtomed from his infancy, in a parent who doats upon him, yet this would have been too hard a taſk upon you, who have not an equal affection to support your duty, and to whom her ways would have been new and unuſual. But though I thus far highly approve his conſideration for you, yet you muſt remember how great a part of her happineſs ſhe is thus deprived of on your account, and make her all the amends in your power by your own attentions, as well as by promoting opportunities of indulging her in the company of her ſon….Be armed againſt the ſallies of her temper, and predetermined never to quarrel with her, whatever ſhe may ſay or do. In ſuch a relationſhip, this conduct would not be meanneſs but merit; nor would it imply any unworthy compliance or falſe aſſent; ſince ſilence and good-humoured ſteadineſs may always preſerve ſincerity in your converſation, and proper freedom in your conduct. If ſhe ſhould deſire to controul your actions, or to intermeddle in the affairs of your family, more than you think is reaſonable, hear her advice with patience, and anſwer with reſpect, but in a manner that may let her ſee you mean to judge of your own duties for yourſelf.

And some very dramatic pauses, indicated by extra whitespace in both the original text and WWO, from dying characters in Pix’s False Friend:

We hope that these new publications will complement each other, inviting readers to explore works by women from multiple angles and perspectives—and we hope our readers have as much fun exploring the texts as we have had preparing them for publication!