Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Michael Scrivener


"Drawn Out in Love: Religious Experience, the Public Sphere, and Evangelical Lay Women's Writing in Eighteenth Century England" explores the writing of eighteenth century evangelical lay women in print, poetry, and educational material. Through careful attention to both the content and materiality of their texts I reveal how the women of the evangelical revival used subjective spiritual experience as an impetus for entry into the public discourses of print, and in turn, how their religious narratives were shaped by these discourses. Chapters on women's conversion narratives, moral literature for children, and religious poetry demonstrate the ways that personal spiritual experience prompted engagement with an evangelical public sphere shaped around the confluence of oral, manuscript, and print culture. Ultimately, through its investigation of under-researched yet influential women writers this dissertation contends that the discursive construction of enthusiasm and Enlightenment during the eighteenth century worked symbiotically to create the discourse conditions necessary for secularization, Romanticism, and modernity itself.