"Susan Frye's book is a beautiful and powerful contribution to scholarship on early modern women's material culture. . . . No other book covers such ground; Pens and Needles is an invaluable resource for art historians, social historians, literary critics, and anyone interested in the material world that early modern women made."—American Historical Review
"Susan Frye's book is most fascinating in drawing out the histories and texts, both written and sewn, of less well-known women, and showing that they saw their needlework as equally articulate, valuable, and artful as their words."—TLS
"Susan Frye's meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated, and brilliantly titled Pens and Needles makes a significant addition to a growing subfield in early modern gender studies: the expressive arts of women's needlework, which Frye sees as a mode of both female self-fashioning and creative communication."—Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
"Frye beautifully succeeds in aligning the different material practices, especially in the surprising discovery of a new portrait of Mary Queen of Scots embroidered by Bess of Hardwick."—Maureen Quilligan, Duke University
"No other book analyzes the combination of visual, textile, and textual modes in relation to early modern women as this one does. Frye draws on a vast range of sources, from comments on the minutiae of Shakespeare's plays, to contemporary translations of the poems of Mary Stuart, to a range of theorists including Michel de Certeau, Marcel Mauss and Karl Marx, to make a complex and convincing argument about women's consciousness and work."—Ann Rosalind Jones, Smith College
About the Author
Susan Frye is Professor of English at the University of Wyoming and author of Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation.