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Wentworth, Anne

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The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women's Writing
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Anne Wentworth (1629/30–?) was a Particular Baptist from London who achieved both fame and notoriety for writing prophesies and religious texts during the English Restoration. In A True Account of Anne Wentworth’s Being Cruelly, Unjustly, and Unchristianly Dealt with by Some of Those People Called Anabaptists (1676) and A Vindication of Anne Wentworth (1677), she publicized the verbal and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband for decades. In addition, she lambasted the members of the couple’s congregation for failing to believe her accounts of her husband’s cruelty and for not offering her aid and comfort. By mapping her own life onto the literary structures of the conversion narrative and the spiritual autobiography, Wentworth represents her own struggles as being part of a larger confrontation between the cosmic forces of good and evil. In her prophetic texts, England’s Spiritual Pill (1678) and The Revelation of Jesus Christ (1679), she characterizes herself as a godly mouthpiece for divine revelation, called upon to warn those in England who, like her husband and the couple’s fellow congregants, fail to heed God’s word of the dire fate that awaits them.

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Further Reading

  • Adcock, Rachel. 2016. Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640–1680. London: Routledge.

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  • Freeman, Curtis W. 2011. Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England. Waco: Baylor University Press.

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  • Gill, Catie. 2004. “Wentworth, Anne (1629/30–1693?), religious writer.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

  • Gillespie, Katharine. 2004. Domesticity and Dissent in the Seventeenth Century: English Women Writers and the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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  • Johnston, Warren. “Prophecy, Patriarchy, and Violence in the Early Modern Household: The Revelations of Anne Wentworth.NCBI. Accessed March 1, 2016.

  • Searle, Alison. 2016. “Women, Marriage, and Agency in Restoration Dissent.” In Religion and Women in Britain, c. 1660–1760, Sarah Apetrei and Hannah Smith, 23–40. London: Routledge.

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Correspondence to Katharine Gillespie .

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Gillespie, K. (2021). Wentworth, Anne. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-01537-4

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