BOOKWORLDS: Women Readers in Early Modern Scandinavia

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Lucie Duggan


Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Linköping


DKK 900,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


Early modern women are often associated with lack of mobility; unlike their male relatives, their opportunities to travel were limited. Yet the surviving evidence of early modern women’s literary culture in Denmark and Sweden suggests that women experienced the world through the prism of their books. This project asks: how did women readers in Scandinavia encounter the world through their books?


The global expansion of the period 1600-1800 had a profound impact on European intellectual culture and was reflected in the proliferation of literature charting the expanding frontiers of the globe, including cartographies, navigational tracts, and travelogues. While much is known about how such texts were read within a male scholarly milieu, little is known about their reception by women.


This project studies the private libraries of elite women readers in Denmark and Sweden, combining archival research and close reading of source material with digital visualisation methods to map the BOOKWORLDS of women readers, where the world of the text (the geographical spaces explored through word and image) and the world of the reader (the domestic space of women’s everyday lives) intersect.

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