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Lucy Hutchinson (1620-81)

Welcome to the website of the Lucy Hutchinson Project! On these pages you will find:

Information about the 4-volume OUP edition of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, with notes on the editors and contributors

Notes on the Life of Lucy Hutchinson

A chronology of Lucy Hutchinson’s writings

A bibliography of Lucy Hutchinson

John Owen, Learned Puritan: a bibliography and introduction to a prolific Congregational writer who influenced Hutchinson's writing

Resources and useful websites for the study of Lucy Hutchinson

 

BLOG: You can follow progress on the edition in our blog: The Works of Lucy Hutchinson

Lucy Hutchinson is well-known to seventeenth-century historians and literary scholars as the author of Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, a classic biography which sets the momentous life of her husband, a committed Puritan, republican and regicide, against the wider backdrop of the English Civil War and Restoration. The work has been more or less continually in print since it was first published from manuscript in 1806. Only recently, however, has the scale and range of her interests been recognized: like her contemporary – and political rival – Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Hutchinson aspired to the new European model of the woman intellectual. She engaged with her times in fascinatingly contradictory ways: a pioneering woman author who held with tenacity to the Pauline doctrine of female subordination, a strong opponent of the emergent sceptical Biblical criticism who had herself brought into English the most passionate atheistic text of antiquity, a fierce opponent of idolatry who was nonetheless deeply attracted to the world of visual images as well as to the poetic imagination. The climax of her literary career was Order and Disorder, a major Biblical poem on a parallel subject to Milton's Paradise Lost. Perhaps merely by circumstance but with a remarkable consistency, she chose to write on topics which were almost guaranteed to make problematic the literary fame to which she at least partly aspired: atheism under the Puritan Revolution, subversive republicanism under the Restoration.