Women's Writing Before Woolf: A Social Reference/Anne Lake Prescott

Anne Lake Prescott edit

Biography edit

Anne Lake Prescott, born in New York in 1939, is known for her position as an English Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she has both studied and worked for several decades. Impressively, Prescott still teaches in her eighties, and has been in the career since the 1960s. She is particularly passionate about and incredibly well versed in the topics of The English Renaissance and relations between England and France. As well as plenty of editorial work and encyclopaedia contributions, she has written two books, French Poets and the English Renaissance: Studies in Fame and Transformation, published in 1978, and Imagining Rabelais in the English Renaissance, published in 1999.

Prescott was inspired to look further into and eventually go into the field of English and French relations after becoming intrigued and curious of the views and associations between the nations. She credits historian and author A.L Rowse (1903-1997) for encouraging her to find her specific area of study in the Anglo-French relations during the Renaissance.[1]

She completed a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University, located in New York, in 1959, and shortly after, in 1961, a Master of Arts. Finally, in 1967, despite having two children, Prescott completed her studies in Columbia University with a Doctor of Philosophy.[2] She also briefly studied at Radcliffe College, Massachusetts, and the University of Paris. Prescott very much enjoyed her time at Barnard, thus was eager to begin her long lasting career there.

She mentions that though she had the desire to teach, she never wanted to educate children, and instead wanted to educate college students, even very shortly after graduating herself.[3] Around the time she completed her Master of Arts, Prescott began working as an instructor at Barnard College. After several years of working in this position, she took on the role of several others, including assistant professor, associate professor, chairman of the English Department, and eventual full professor until 2012. She now teaches part time.[4]

Works edit

Along with her two published books focused on the English Renaissance, Anne Lake Prescott has participated in plenty of editorial work, and has a role in editorial boards, some of which including SEL (Studies in English Literature), American Notes and Queries, and Renaissance Studies. Until 2015, she was one of three co-editors of the poetry collection, Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual. She has also edited a variety of texts written by women throughout the early modern period. Barnard College notes that Prescott is affiliated with the comparative literature program and the medieval and Renaissance studies program.[5] As of 2019, she is said to be working on David in the Renaissance and on Renaissance almanacs and calendars. [6]

In 2011, Anne Lake Prescott attended the The 57th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, where she was a speaker. She is a trustee of the society, and former president of the International Spenser Society.[7] The ISS has also appointed a bi-annual Graduate Student Conference Paper Prize in honour of Prescott, named The Anne Lake Prescott Graduate Student Paper Conference Prize, after the vote of a unanimous committee for her brilliant engagements and help towards papers at conferences. [8]

As well as this, she has been involved with a scholarly society responsible for leading and promoting research regarding the early modern era, The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, or SCSC.

Prescott received the prestigious Colin Clout Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, an award given to senior scholars who have made significant contributions. She has also been awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, and was an honouree for the Distinguished Worldwide Humanitarian Award.

The awards and general recognition Prescott has received throughout her career offers a great insight into how her contributions are valued and understood by scholars and students alike. Driven by her intense passion for the subjects, her work and high understanding of the field of the English Renaissance and studies towards English and French relations is well regarded, and rightfully so. Prescott is a great example of a senior scholar whose career has helped to define the understanding of a field known today.

Reputation edit

Anne Lake Prescott is certainly a scholarly figure that deserves to be regarded. She is someone very important to the field of Medieval and Renaissance studies due to her contributions through her plentiful editing work within several fields of early modern English, two published books, speaker role in The Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, and trustee status, and awards for her achievements. Prescott has certainly earned the status of a still active senior scholar with significant and notable contributions to her chosen work.

Her drive and passion for the matters of relations between England and France and the Renaissance period is inspiring, particularly when taking into account that Prescott has been working in the educational setting since the sixties, when her favoured subjects were much less explored than they are in the present. Her editing work towards women of the early modern period is also to be noted.

Prescott is very likely to be viewed in high regards in scholarly settings due to her contributions and achievements throughout her long lasting career, and opinions are not set to change anytime soon. Decades of a successful and impactful career is certainly something to be proud of and regarded highly for.

Anne Lake Prescott is an important figure because she is one of the many women today that is actively shaping the understanding of several topics relating to English. Through her work and achievements in a variety of aspects of the field, Prescott has made significant accomplishments towards the knowledge of the Renaissance period and English and French relations of today. Her authorship, editorial work, and the decades of educating and pure drive for the subjects she shows passion for is inspiring, and a strong reflection of the achievements women have made in the subjects of English literature and understandings of early modern periods.

Further Reading: edit

Travitsky, Betty, and Anne Lake Prescott. Female and Male Voices in Early Modern England. Columbia University Press, 2000.

Prescott, Anne Lake. French Poets and the English Renaissance: Studies in Fame and Transformation. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1978.

Prescott, Anne Lake. “The World of Renaissance Scholarship.” English Literary Renaissance, vol. 50, no. 1, 2020, pp. 131–136. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1086/706229.

References edit

  1. TVTurningPoint 2015, Anne Lake Prescott Documentary
  2. Marquis Who’s Who n.d, Anne Lake Prescott, PHD
  3. TVTurningPoint 2015, Anne Lake Prescott Documentary
  4. Who’s Who of Professional Women 2019, ANNE LAKE PRESCOTT
  5. Barnard n.d, Anne Prescott
  6. Who’s Who of Professional Women 2019, ANNE LAKE PRESCOTT
  7. Barnard n.d, Anne Prescott
  8. The Spenser Review n.d, Anne Lake Prescott Graduate Student Paper Conference Prize 2018