The daughter of a successful mercantile family, Katherine Austen was born to Robert Wilson, a draper, and Katherine Rudd in London in 1628, and she died in 1683, having spent much of her life in Hoxton, Middlesex (Todd, “Property and a Woman’s Place” 181-83). She married Thomas Austen in 1645, when she was a teenager, but Thomas died in 1658, leaving her a widow and single mother of three. During her lifetime, there were many pejorative stereotypes of widows, and her multi-generic manuscript compilation of texts,

Book M

—which contains spiritual meditations, sermon notes, diary entries, financial records, letters, personal essays, and more than 30 occasional and religious lyric poems, including elegies and country house verse—reveals Austen’s efforts to resist those…

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Citation: Hammons, Pamela. "Katherine Austen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 September 2011 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

13003 Katherine Austen 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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