‘Her booke’
Early Modern Women
and their Books at
Lambeth Palace Library

This exhibition will highlight material owned, written, commissioned, and translated by women during the long early modern period. It celebrates the ways in which women and their books were an integral part of England’s devotional, intellectual, and bibliographical cultures. Beginning in the late fifteenth century, the exhibition will examine the production and use of books for personal and spiritual practices; books as a statement of power and piety; the development of the commercial trade in books; books as a site to demonstrate women’s intellectual ability; and the material evidence of women’s book ownership.

Items on display will include: medieval manuscripts written by the sisters of Syon Abbey on the cusp of the Reformation; Elizabeth I’s newly identified translation of Tacitus; correspondence from a future Archbishop of Canterbury about Jane Austen; and first editions of the works of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley. They will be displayed alongside other works related to known and unknown women from our collections.

This exhibition will include a programme of lectures by John-Mark Philo (University of East Anglia), Helen Smith (University of York), and exhibition curator Julia King, as well as a special curator’s panel where guests can participate in a Q&A with the curator and the British Library’s Eleanor Jackson, co-curator of the upcoming exhibition Medieval Women: In Their Own Words.

You can see further details of these events, and register to attend them, on our events page.

Free Entry
1 July to 21 November 2024
9:30-17:00 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
9:30-19:00 Thursday
Exhibition Room
Saturday 6 July, 3 August, 7 September, 5 October, 2 November.