Lady Anne Clifford was Countess of Pembroke, Dorset and Montgomery by marriage, and by birth Baroness Clifford. Anne began her life with the expectation that she would live the typical and prescribed life of a seventeenth-century aristocratic woman - marrying into an important family. With the death of her brother Robert in 1591, the one-year-old Anne became sole heir of the vast Clifford hereditary estates in Westmorland and north-west Yorkshire. However, her status as heir was soon compromised by her father, who began legal manoeuvres to place his own brother Francis as heir. This and George Clifford's infidelities led to great strains in his marriage to Margaret Russell, which Anne describes in detail in the 1603 Memoir. George Clifford died in 1605 and by his will left some hereditary estates to his brother Francis Clifford. The will stipulated that, should his brother leave no direct male heirs, his daughter Anne would inherit these estates. Margaret Russell refused to accept the will and this ignited an inheritance dispute that would last for decades, with repercussions that rumbled on for over a century. Anne's mother led the battle to regain her daughter's inheritance in the early years of the lawsuit. Anne Clifford lived during the reigns of four monarchs and two heads of state in her long life of eighty-six years. She experienced exile and isolation as well as great political power. Anne Clifford's surviving autobiographical writing reveals her deep commitment to maintaining a record or account of her life.
Westmorland, including the castles of Brougham, Brough,
Pendragon and Appleby, as well as the manor and castle of Skipton and other properties in
the region of Craven, in North Yorkshire.
2 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
Anne would inherit these estates.4 He pleaded with his wife Margaret and to
Anne to accept his will, writing in his last letter to her: ‘I beg of thee thou wilt
take as I have meant in kindness the course I have set down for disposing of
my estate’.5 Anne was to receive £15,000 upon her marriage according to the
will, but only on the condition
of the 1603 memoir after 1609.
6 The Privy Council, a permanent council made up of elite men who advised the monarch.
This council wielded great power, as seen here in the transfer of the crown from Elizabeth
16 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
2 Margaret Russell, by unknown artist (1585)
day Mr Richard Sackville was 14 years, he being then at Dorset House with
his grandfather7 and that great family. At the death of this worthy Queen my
mother and I lay at Austin Friars in the same chamber where afterwards I was
The first time
), which emerged from the political settlement
after the Restoration. Prior to the Restoration she used the 1559 Book of Common Prayer.
15 John Webster appears often in this daybook and in Anne’s accounts. He was a versatile
man and performs a wide number of services for Anne. It may be that there was more than
228 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
for drawing over a copy of [blank] of St Nicholas belonging to my almshouse
at Appleby and he dined without with my folks. And there also dined here with
my folks and with Mr Thomas Gabetis my sheriff and his wife
dried with grief or her eyes and face so much changed with weeping, and we her friends
not in such hope of her having children again, as there was likelyhood of’ (Portland MS 23,
Letter, December 1615, pp. 66–67).
24 William Cecil, Lord de Ros. In 1606 Anne’s mother attempted to arrange a match between
William and Anne. See Malay, ‘Marrying of Anne Clifford’ (2012).
25 Thomas Lake, Secretary of State.
26 Alethea Talbot.
28 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
and in the afternoon my Lady Willoughby27 came to see me. My Lady Grey28
brought my Lady Carr29 to
in Anne’s hand in at
least one set of the Great Books. For details of this see Great Books, ed. Malay, pp. 814–905.
4 The life of a courtier.
5 This term could carry a positive connotation suggesting cleverness and ingenuity as well as
the negative connotation of trickery.
118 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
4 Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, by John Bracken (1670), from The Great
Picture Triptych (1646), attributed to Jan van Belcamp
but extremely choleric6 by nature which was increased the more by the office of
Lord Chamberlain to the King
thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the
heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.’ Anne uses this biblical chapter to express her
understanding of the difficulties of life.
7 Robert (d. 1588) and Francis (d. 1591) Clifford.
96 anne clifford’s autobiographicalwriting
me, my father then being in great peril at sea in one of his voyages. For both a
little before he begat me and a little after, it was ten thousand to one but that he
had been cast away on the seas by tempests and contrary winds, yet it pleased
God to preserve him, so as he
Writing Otherwise is a collection of essays by established feminist and cultural critics interested in experimenting with new styles of expression. Leading figures in their field, such as Marianne Hirsch, Lynne Pearce, Griselda Pollock, Carol Smart, Jackie Stacey and Janet Wolff, all risk new ways of writing about themselves and their subjects. Contributions move beyond conventional academic writing and into more exploratory registers to consider subjects such as: feminist collaborations, memories of dislocation, movement and belonging, intimacy and affect, encountering difference, passionate connections to art and opera. Some chapters use personal writing to interrogate theoretical issues; others put conceptual questions next to therapeutic ones; all of them offer the reader new ways of thinking about how and why we write, and how we might do it differently. Discovering the creative spaces in between traditional genres, many of the chapters show how new styles of writing open up new ways of doing cultural criticism. Aimed at both general and academic readers interested in how scholarly writing might be more innovative and creative, this collection introduces the personal, the poetic and the experimental into the frame of cultural criticism. This collection of essays is highly interdisciplinary and contributes to debates in sociology, history, anthropology, art history, cultural and media studies and gender studies.
Actresses, female performers, autobiography and the scripting of professional practice
Maggie B. Gale
Fifteen years her senior, Ada Reeve (1874–1966), who had also
spent a substantial proportion of her career working as a Gaiety Girl
and in musical comedy, titled her late autobiography Take It for a Fact
(Reeve, 1954), with a similar pointed reference to her sense of agency and
The social and theatrical realm
authority in the writing of her own professional life story. Reeve, with
a characteristic lack of charm, orders us to read her reminiscences as a
‘record’ of fact, even though they were written in a moment of almost
the eighteenth century onwards. As the nineteenth century is known to be the
period in which the search for a self became democratized through, among
other things, the massive interest in and practice of autobiographicwriting,
we may ask ourselves to which extent Barbin’s text can be characterized by
these features of the modern scripting and expression of the self.
There have been many heated discussions about Barbin’s text as well as about
Foucault’s introduction to it.17 These all assume quite facilely that an ‘anatomic
truth’ was in one way or another imposed