A difficult and volatile alliance
The countess of Shrewsbury and the Lady Arbella Stuart
in Bess of Hardwick
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Of Bess’s complex family relationships, none was more troubled than that with her granddaughter, Lady Arbella Stuart. Their interactions necessarily encompassed both the personal and the political and were of great interest to the crown, especially as Queen Elizabeth grew older and the succession was unclear. As a result, substantial correspondence written to and about each has survived from which to examine their difficult and volatile alliance. This chapter traces how through their letters Bess and Arbella shaped oppositional narratives. Their letters offer fascinating perspectives on their roles in the confused events that divided them.

Bess of Hardwick

New perspectives

Editor: Lisa Hopkins

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