History, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in SHAKESPEARE STUDIES, Vol. 33 (2005), pp. 313-314. Published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.


Mihoko Suzuki carefully puts together class and gender in her study, Subordinate Subjects: Gender, the Political Nation, and Literary Form in England, 1588-1688, by showing the similarities and linkages as well as the differences between apprentices and women in their desire to be part of the political nation in early modern England. At the time their attempts to gain power and autonomy were ultimately unsuccessful but they did have important ramifications later. Historians and political theorists have traditionally seen the French revolution as the beginning of the ideal of equality, what Suzuki calls "the political imaginary of equality" (2). Yet more than a century before 1789, English women and apprentices gave expression to the value of the rights of all citizens. The careful way Suzuki demonstrates the interconnections of early modern English class and gender provides the reader with an important lesson on the necessity of not separating gender from other considerations. ... This is not an easy book to read but the work is more than repaid by the insights Suzuki provides. Scholars interested in literature and drama, in politics, in gender and class, and in cultural development will all find much of value in this book

Included in

History Commons