Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Gary Schneider

Second Advisor

Dr. David Anshen

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Mitchell


Isabella Whitney, the first woman to publish secular verse under her own name, is generally considered by scholars in terms of gender. My thesis argues she should be seen, instead, through her identity as a working-class writer. Her book of poetry, A Sweet Nosgay (1573), is shaped by her efforts to make her way in the world of print publication by commodifying creativity into a product. My thesis assesses the content of her poetry on the basis of class, which was the impetus for this commodification. My focus gives full authority to her as a Renaissance writer, one who resists many social and cultural constraints, and who used a variety of literary strategies to engage the working class.


Copyright 2010 Janette Cavazos. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American