Katherine Austen


Katherine Austen has left a single notable contribution to the genre of women's religious, meditative and autobiographical writings: her manuscript Book M (AuK 1), written during the years of her widowhood. It is clear, however, from her references to volumes with other letter denominations that she produced a series of such compilations, of which this is the only example known to survive. Despite her claim, in an address to the reader, that the manuscript was ‘a private exercise directed to myself’, it is clear that she wanted it to be read by others, if only perhaps among her immediate circle. Although cited and discussed by modern scholars, the manuscript remains currently unedited.

Peter Beal