Upper servants’ letters and loyalties in the Shrewsbury–Stuart domestic politics of the 1580s
in Bess of Hardwick
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This chapter analyses how the Shrewsburys’ servants’ letters represent the micropolitics of their employers’ combined or dispersed households throughout the turbulent 1580s, revealing that they used a range of rhetorical techniques, such as positive and negative characterisation, deferential and emotional language, strongly worded advice and practical problem-solving to perform their duties and demonstrate their allegiance at all costs. It concludes with reflections on the significance of servants’ emotional, political and epistolary engagements.

Bess of Hardwick

New perspectives

Editor: Lisa Hopkins

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