A loom of her own?: weaving men and spinning women in Thomas Deloney's Jack of Newbury

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dc.contributor Cook, Alexandra
dc.contributor McClure, George W.
dc.contributor.advisor McElroy, Tricia A.
dc.contributor.author Merritt, Catherine Marie
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-28T22:24:14Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-28T22:24:14Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000221
dc.identifier.other Merritt_alatus_0004M_10339
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/727
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract To show how popular (male) sentiment pushed against female participation in cloth production during this period, I will look closely at Thomas Deloney's Jack of Newbury, a romance novel whose protagonist conquers the weaving world by subjugating powerful women who claim (or could claim, if they so chose) economic authority. This novel, my primary text, reveals how early Renaissance authors deliberately warped images of spinning women from traditional economies and classical mythology in order to redefine the occupation's boundaries. As this literature entered public discourse, spinning became more and more associated with marital and domestic responsibilities, so it is no coincidence that the word "spinster" now changed from a neutral, denotative term describing one's occupation to a pejorative, connotative term describing one's marital status. As this final point suggests, my thesis's central goal is to show how Renaissance literature distorted historical records and reappropriated popular narrative motifs in order to create highly effective economic propaganda. Deloney is an apt figure to examine in this effort because he was himself a yeoman silk weaver who frequently distorted the past (both literary and actual) in an effort to reform his guild through the written word. My approach to the topic of femininity and literary/cultural production has been heavily influenced by Jack Zipes' article, "Spinning with Fate: Rumpelstiltskin and the Decline of Female Productivity," and Roger A. Ladd's article, "Thomas Deloney and the London Weavers' Company." Zipes' work describes the economic changes that punctuated the spinning industry during the 18th and 19th centuries that provided the sociohistorical backdrop for the Rumpelstiltskin tale. I argue, in response to this claim, that the movement, and indeed the evolution of the spinning woman as a fairy tale archetype, can be traced to a much earlier point in time. The place and prestige of women within the métier began to suffer before industrialization significantly altered the spinning profession, as guild documents from the London Weavers' Company clearly exhibit. Ladd's article, on the other hand, has shaped my discussion of authors/literary figures and their affect on economic policies as it relies heavily on these same documents and other economic records.
dc.format.extent 64 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Literature, British & Irish
dc.title A loom of her own?: weaving men and spinning women in Thomas Deloney's Jack of Newbury
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of English
etdms.degree.discipline English as a Second Language
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.A.


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