Pious pioneer of the pen

June 26, 1998

The diaries of Lady Margaret Hoby reveal the everyday life and religious devotions of a wealthy heiress and landowner in Elizabethan North Yorkshire.

Joanna Moody of York University has edited The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady for her English literature research project on the level of piety of a Protestant household of the time.

The journal details the daily devotional routine at Hackness Hall near Scarborough. Regarded as one of the earliest and most important journals of a woman, it is a forerunner of the meditative and autobiographical approach that became a dominant genre for 17th-century female writers.

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