Scattering and Gathering in Katharine Evans and Sarah Cheevers: Conclusions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The argument of this book has been that early women writers’ key role in British public culture helps us understand it as internally divided and inconsistent, uneven in terms of participation, riven with political conflicts and gender tensions, shaped by interested communities that defined themselves in opposition to dominant trends in religious and governmental policies and practices. In addition, as the introduction argued, and as Bradstreet’s case illustrates most fully, this public culture is also externally extended, affecting and affected by communities of literary production and political critique that deliberately overrun England’s borders. It is in this context of the expanded geography of public life, and the problems of cultural or religious inclusiveness this expansion entails, that A Short Relation (1662) by Katherine Evans and Sarah Cheevers is instructive. What follows is an analysis of their pamphlet as the basis for a focused discussion of some of the broader conclusions of this book on women’s key role in publics that are decidedly non-national in nature. Evans and Cheevers offer a traveling model of counterpublic activity that casts female figures as the proper bearers of Quaker conversion at home and abroad. The assimilative dynamic of that model, however, illustrates both the power and potential cost of transnational counterpublic address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarly Modern Cultural Studies 1500-1700
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEarly Modern Cultural Studies 1500-1700
ISSN (Print)2634-5897
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5900


  • Public Culture
  • Religious Struggle
  • Short Relation
  • True Account
  • Woman Writer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Linguistics and Language


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