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The Seventeenth Century has a rich archive of articles covering all aspects of women’s lives in the period. This Virtual Special Issue, with free access, presents a selection of sixteen articles, covering all strata of society, and focusing on three principal areas, which inevitably often overlap. These are: women as active agents in society; women’s domestic and devotional lives; and relations between the sexes, in and outside marriage. A future Virtual Special Issue will focus on the journal’s equally rich archive of literary analysis of women’s writings.
In making this selection, only one piece has been chosen by any one author, which has led to some difficult choices. Similarly, this selection does not include relevant articles which have already featured in previous Virtual Special Issues; although many are outstanding, they have already been freely available.