History, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in International Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 4, No.2 (March/April 1981), pp. 196-207.


John Foxe's The Book of Martyrs had enormous impact in Elizabethan England. His presentation of women was an effective guide to women readers about appropriate behavior patterns. The ideals for women in the Renaissance were basically the passive Christian virtues such as modesty, humility, sweetness and piety. Foxe was certainly concerned with these Christian virtues for women; however, in certain ways his positive examples of strong women not only reinforced, but also modified this point of view.

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