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Economic advancement and reputation strategies: Seventeenth‐century Dutch women writing for profit

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This essay examines how economic circumstances and imperatives influenced strategies of self‐representation employed by women writing in the Dutch Republic. At the core of the analysis is the poetry of Maria Margaretha van Akerlaecken (1605–after 1662) and Katharina Lescailje (1649–1711). Economic advancement for literary authors in the Dutch Republic was defined by the marginality of literary patronage in court culture and few possibilities to profit through the market. Van Akerlaecken, however, succeeded in finding patrons abroad, and Lescailje, who ran a publishing house, could print her own works and thus profited directly from their sales. The respective modes of self‐representation of these women in their published works moved in opposite directions because of these differing modes of earning, but each can be traced back to the same issue: they were women and writers striving for economic advancement and this combination turned out to be a problematic one, asking for strategic reputation management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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