This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the women's life writings during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in England. By working at the intersection of genre and personal identity, the contributors reveal early modern women's familiarity with various aspects of an increasingly textual world, as well as the creativity with which women sought suitable forms for the expression of uniqueselves. Genre and Women's Life Writing in Early Modern England has been influenced and, indeed, made possible by the nuanced historical and theoretical work done on early modern English women's life writings in recent years. Moving beyond traditional approaches to genre, particularly autobiography, has been a crucial first step in the study of women's life writing from any period. In order to challenge the traditional understanding of autobiographical writing, scholars have developed a series of creative approaches to generic categorization.