Sarah-Jayne Ainsworth



College: College of Humanities
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Early Modern Studies

My research looks at the wills written by women in the south-west of England during the period 1625-1660. Whist women were constrained by the law and by custom, single women, widows and even some wives made wills, leaving property, business affairs and personal items to family and friends. Through a study of these documents, I aim to consider how the women sought to fashion themselves, giving and omitting information so as to present a particular picture of themselves. I also seek to situate the wills within a wider literary context, arguing that, in producing them, women were participating in the sphere