Women's Complaint, 1530-1680: Taxonomy, Voice, and the Index in the Digital Age

Jake Arthur, Rosalind Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter discusses the development of a digital database that shows the breadth and depth of women's engagement with complaint poetry between 1530 and 1680. The database provides basic bibliographic data alongside information about the role of female agents (such as author, translator, transcriber, and compiler), and the type of complaint or complaint topoi the texts engage in, including the gender of the poetic speaker(s). This chapter examines major complaint strands identified in the database, as well as key decisions in its design and taxonomies, namely the complexities of deciding a workable definition of complaint; the meaning and decision-making process behind the concept of "female agents"; and why and how we identified the gender of poetic speakers. We further consider the ramifications of these decisions for our data model, situating those decisions and the database itself within a context of other resources about early modern women's writing and within evolving debates in the field of digital humanities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEarly Modern Women's Complaint: Gender, Form, and Politics
    EditorsSarah C. E. Ross & Rosalind Smith
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)9783030429461
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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