'Write, because these words are faithful and true.' Religion, gender and autobiographical authorship in the 19th century
Negentiende Eeuw , Volume 34 - Issue 2 p. 140- 154
For women of the nineteenth-century, the motive of a religious vocation was an important and successful instrument to justify a public life. This article argues that religious thoughts and experiences facilitated women's autobiography as well. During the century, the subgenre of conversion narrative was more accessible to Dutch women autobiographers than the favorable genre of historical memoirs. However, women's presence within the tradition of conversion narrative did not necessarily further autobiographical authorship: many women's narratives were ghostwritten, and virtually all were published posthumously. As an exception to the rule, the case of Doetje Reinsberg-Ypes (1840-1900) demonstrates to what extent the subgenre of conversion narrative entrapped women autobiographers striving for a place in public life and hence the domain of history.