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CCCS Scholarly Awards

CCCS Director Awarded the 2010 Translation or Teaching Edition Prize by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

Susan M. Felch, Susan M. Felch, professor in the English Department at Calvin College and director of the CCCS, has been awarded the 2010 Translation or Teaching Edition Prize by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for her book Elizabeth I and Her Age (W. W. Norton, 2009), co-edited with Donald Stump of Saint Louis University. 

The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW), a large group of international and interdisciplinary scholars, supports and sustains scholarship through a variety of venues, including sponsoring sessions at professional meetings; recognizing outstanding work in the field with awards; and co-sponsoring Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Elizabeth I and Her Age, which is part of the well-regarded Norton Critical Editions series, presents texts written by and about Queen Elizabeth from her childhood as the second daughter of Henry VIII to memories of her reign penned after her death, as well as historical and critical essays.  At nearly 900 pages, it is a considerable work of scholarship, with each annotated selection freshly edited from original sources.  As one reviewer notes, “Stump’s and Felch’s selection of materials to illustrate [Elizabeth’s importance] is judicious and at times inspired, including such usual suspects as Foxe, Shakespeare and Fletcher’s Henry VIII, Spenser, Heywood, Mulcaster, and Gascoigne, as well as rather less usual ones such as John Bale, William Whittingham, Anne Vaughan Lock, Edward Hake, and William Elderton.”

Poems, sermons, letters, advice to the Queen, prayers, plays, speeches, epigrams, histories, Parliamentary acts, and popular ballads jostle together on the pages, creating a sense of the vibrant and multi-layered culture that was sixteenth-century England. Concise historical backgrounds as well as introductions to each selection, modern spelling, and thoughtful footnotes help students navigate unfamiliar texts, which themselves attempt to recover something of the interplay of eloquent and influential voices that spoke out during important political, cultural, and religious crises that arose during Elizabeth’s life.  

The volume, which is intended for both literature and history classes, is divided into twelve chronological sections, which together present a composite picture of the Queen and her age: 

  • The Princess Elizabeth (1553-1558)
  • Coronation and the Problems of Legitimacy, Religion, and Succession (1559-1566)
  • Mary Stuart, The Northern Rebellion, and Protestant Discontent (1567-1571)
  • Changing Alliances (1572-1577)
  • The French Marriage Negotiations (1578-1782)
  • Courtiers, Assassins, and the Death of Mary Stuart (1582-1587)
  • The Spanish Armada and its Aftermath (1588-1592)
  • A Changing Court and Aging Queen (1592-1597)
  • Ireland, Rebellion, and the Passing of the Queen (1598-1603)
  • Lingering Images of the Queen
  • Remembering Elizabeth: Early Accounts of the Queen (1577-1848)
  • Modern Scholarship and Criticism (which includes an essay on film versions of Queen Elizabeth’s life).

Felch is no stranger to awards from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. In 2009, she won the Josephine A. Roberts Scholarly Edition Award for her book Elizabeth Tyrwhit's Morning and Evening Prayers (Ashgate, 2008), and in 2000, she received an honorable mention for her first book, The Collected Works of Anne Vaughan Lock (RETS, 1999), both of which were honored as “significant and authoritative contributions to the field of early modern scholarship.”

This year, in addition to the award for Elizabeth I and Her Age, Felch was recognized as a contributor to a book of essays, Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Ashgate, 2009) edited by Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen, which received an Honorable Mention in the 2010 SSEMW Collaborative Project Award competition.