Patrilineal Ralegh
in Literary and visual Ralegh
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Sir Walter Ralegh's career provides us a range of texts to which we can map considerations of the actions, assumptions, and attitudes required to maintain family ties, particularly father and son bonds, paternal authority, and family estates and status. This chapter addresses such considerations with particular reference to the Discoverie of Guiana, Instructions to a Son, Ralegh's contribution to the flourishing minor genre of paternal advice, and 'Three things there bee', Ralegh's short poem of fatherly admonishment. More surprisingly, Ralegh discovers in Guiana the rich promise of patrilineal governance. Several aspects of Ralegh's adherence to patrilineal imperatives come together with particular force in his representation of exchanges with Topiawari, the very old king of Aromaia. The divergence between God's ways and Ralegh's fatherly instruction can be felt in the subtle but nonetheless real contradictions that riddle Ralegh's discussion of poverty.

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