Women’s labor and the Little Gidding Harmonies

Authored by: Whitney Trettien

Routledge Companion to Women, Sex, and Gender in the Early British Colonial World

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472479945
eBook ISBN: 9781315613772
Adobe ISBN:


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In 1625, Nicholas Ferrar and his mother, Mary, left London to found the religious household of Little Gidding. There, the extended Ferrar and Collett families aimed to be “a pattern for an adge [sic] that needs patterns,” as Nicholas put it, practicing a rigorous schedule of collective devotion. As part of their religious practice, Mary Collett, her sister Anna, and their female relatives spent their afternoons in the estate’s Concordance Room cutting and pasting printed Bibles and engravings into elaborate collages of fragmented text and images. These thirteen cut-and-paste volumes “harmonize” various books of the Bible and thus are collectively known as the Little Gidding Harmonies.

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