This is an exploration of the extent and implications of the pre- and extra-marital relationships of the gentry and nobility in the period 1450–1640 in the north of England. It challenges assumptions about the extent to which such activity declined in the period in question, and hence about the impact of Protestantism and other changes to the culture of the elite. The book is a major contribution to the literature on marriage and sexual relationships, on family and kinship and their impacts on wider social networks, and on gender.
The role and status of the mistress
utt as good natures through humaine frailty are oftentimes misled: soe he fell to love
a ladey of quality; which by degrees did draw and alienate his love and affection from
soe verteous and well descerveing wife, it being the cause of many discontents betweene
them for many yeares together’.1 So wrote Lady Anne Clifford reflecting upon the state of
the marriage of her father and mother, George Clifford, third earl of Cumberland (d. 1605)
and Lady Margaret, daughter of Francis Russell, second earl of Bedford. Lady
Bachelor girls, mistresses and
the New Woman heroine
This chapter examines radical representations of work, celibacy, adoption and ‘female urbanism’ in fin-de-siècle short stories and novels.
Middle-class women’s unprecedented entry into the labour market
meant changes in accommodation: working women now lived alone,
rented rooms with friends or siblings or occupied the new ladies’
lodging houses in London.1 The 1890s saw the birth of the ‘bachelor
girl’, a new label given to young independent female workers, particularly those employed in the new shops
Patriarchy and subordinate agency in the household
Lindsay R. Moore
Masters and mistresses, servants and slaves:
patriarchy and subordinate agency in
ike wives, the patriarchal order defined servants, both male and
female, as dependents within the larger family. Male heads of
household were obliged to provide for, instruct and protect their
servants, just as they were with respect to their wives and children. In
return, servants owed their masters deference, submission and obedience.
However, this ideal vision of patriarchy, whereby benevolent masters
lovingly cared for obedient and submissive dependents, was
Suicide as control and contagion in the works of Richard Marsh
, Durkheim and the ‘standard model’:
I am tolerably certain that not all suicides are mad … If, with her own hand, she summons death, & insists upon his presence at her side at once, is she a coward, – or mad? She simply desires to be mistress of her own fate. (10)
There is no causal link between suicide and insanity here, and clearly no sense of suicide being a form of madness. Indeed, for Marsh, those who study the causes of suicide, whether social or psychological, are the more likely to be mad: as the essay states
Indigenous people in Britain’s settler colonies engaged Queen Victoria in their diplomacy and politics, and incorporated her into their intellectual and narrative traditions. These interpretations of Victoria have much to tell us about indigenous peoples’ experiences of and responses to British colonization, and they also make a significant contribution to historical and contemporary understandings of British imperial and colonial history. The essays in this volume, that focus on Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, offer detailed studies from these settings, of the political, imaginative, diplomatic and intellectual uses of Queen Victoria by indigenous peoples. They also consider the ways in which the Crown’s representatives employed the figure of the monarch in their dealings with the people displaced by British colonization. The collection offers compelling examples of the traffic of ideas, interpretations and political strategies among and between indigenous people and colonial officials across the settler colonies. Together the chapters demonstrate the contributions that Indigenous peoples of the settler colonies made to British imperial culture and cultures of monarchy.
This book tries to show how sexual attitudes and activities influenced the lives of the imperial elite as well as the subjects of empire. It begins with an examination of the nature of sexuality and of its influence on individuals. The book argues that sexual dynamics crucially underpinned the whole operation of British empire and Victorian expansion. Sexual needs can be imperative, and people will go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy them. The book considers the behaviour of members of the imperial ruling elite, and examines their attitude to marriage and the relationship between their private lives and service of the empire. It looks at sexual opportunity in some different types of imperial situation, both formal and informal, in an attempt to see how sexual interaction underpinned the operative structures of British expansion. As the keeping of mistresses was not uncommon in eighteenth-century Britain, the keeping of a mistress in British India became a well-established practice. Europeans in India could flirt outrageously, but they must not fall in love or marry. To keep the women free from disease, Indian prostitutes were admitted to the cantonments, to the lal bazar after medical examination and registration, where they were given periodical checks. Official reaction against sexual opportunism began in earnest with the Purity Campaign launched in 1869, which changed the visible face of British life and attitudes. Undoubtedly there was thereafter more decorum, more chastity, less opportunity and less fun.
This book investigates representations of the unattractive human body in early modern English culture, examining in particular the role played by depictions of the unsightly body in the construction of specific models of identity. It provides a set of texts that can deepen their understanding of the culture and society of the twelfth-century German kingdom. The sources translated bring to life the activities of five noblemen and noblewomen. The book focuses on the ugly characters found in English literature and drama, and also refers to wider European texts and discourses, including Italian and other European visual art. It explores whether ugliness is an objective property or a subjective perception. Ugly men are often represented as Silenus figures, their unappealing exteriors belying their inner nobility. Carrier of diseases and transgressor of sexual, social and physical norms, the ugly woman horrifies and nauseates, provoking a violent response. The manner in which these women are 'defeatured' aligns their acquired ugliness with the erasure of identity rather than its consolidation. The usefulness of the ugly woman as a means of consolidating specific forms of masculine identity is particularly visible in some texts written in praise of unattractive mistresses. Works 'celebrating' ugly women ultimately draw attention to the male creative genius that is capable of transforming even unsightly female matter into compelling art. Eluding simple categorisations and dismantling the most fundamental of social and subjective binaries, ugly figures burst repeatedly on to the scene in early modern texts, often in the most unexpected of places.
The shifting value of classical mythology in Love’s Mistress
Love’s Mistress tells the story of Cupid and Psyche,
adapted from Apuleius’s The Golden Ass (second century CE).
In 1634, Heywood was reaching the end of a long career as a playwright,
during which he had experimented with many genres and trends 1 – including
mythological drama, with the Ages cycle in the early 1610s. 2
Love’s Mistress has a
came into view. All the same, these relationships were complex. The men
did not want to marry, but many felt a sense of responsibility towards their
lovers; records show such men leaving bonds and inheritances to them.
Moreover, the women did not always end up degraded and dead. The
life of a mistress was precarious, but its financial rewards could be high,
especially for any children. Nor did all men despair of marrying lowerclass lovers. The myth of Pygmalion tempted some men to train their
cohabitees to climb the social