The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- critical introduction
- Preface: Preface to The Revelation of Jesus Christ. by Anne Wentworth.
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
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Preface to The Revelation of Jesus Christ. by Anne Wentworth.
I edited The Revelation of Jesus Christ with the goal of bringing the prophetic writings and activities of Anne Wentworth to the attention of literary, historical, theological, and feminist scholars. Though scholars of many disciplines have recently begun to analyze all facets of the seventeenth-century prophetic outpouring in England, few of them discuss Wentworth directly. Those critics who do mention Wentworth's writings (such as Charlotte Otten in English Women's Voices, 1540-1700, Elaine Hobby in Virtue of Necessity: English Women's Writing 1646-1688, and Dorothy P. Ludlow in "Shaking Patriarchy's Foundations: Sectarian Women in England, 1641-1700") predominantly discuss her text A Vindication in order to illustrate the abuse women prophets often suffered at the hands of their husbands. To encourage scholars to conduct more wide-ranging and in depth analyses of Wentworth's prophetic activities and writings, I chose to edit The Revelation which, unlike her tracts A Vindication and A true Account, is primarily prophetic rather than simply vindicatory.
Because Wentworth is virtually unknown even among the scholarly community and because her writings contain many autobiographical elements, I have provided in the introduction to this edition as much biographical material on Wentworth as is currently available. Also in the introduction, I have attempted to situate Wentworth's writings within seventeenth-century prophetic discourses, especially those discourses employed by women. Finally, I have offered my own stylistic analysis of the text's structure, imagery, and themes. I hope that my analysis of Anne Wentworth's The Revelation of Jesus Christ will be followed by many more, and that the voice of this seventeenth-century prophet will be recovered.