By Helen Wilcox, Elaine Hobby, Hilary Hind, Elspeth Graham
Her personal lifestyles gathers the writings of twelve English ladies from the tumultuous 17th century. starting from a shipwright's daughter to a duchess, with writing kinds various from diary and prophecy to lyric poetry, those extracts discover an missed and forgotten heritage, a historical past written by way of and approximately ladies.
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Additional info for Her Own Life: Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth Century Englishwomen
43 ague: a violent fever, particularly marked by successive fits (OED 2). , Rector of Horsemonden, brother of the sergeant. ’ 46 chargeable: costly; Dorset lost a lot of money in gaming with the king. 47 letters… Westmorland: concerning the uncertain ownership of their properties following the death of Lady Cumberland. 48 All this Lent…Good Friday: she only fasted from meat (‘flesh’) on Good Friday. 49 burley lor barley] break: an outdoor game in which two couples were chased by a third and were able to ‘break’ partnerships in order to avoid being caught.
For some 2 nights my mother and I lay together and had much talk about this business. 9 Most part of the way I rid behind Mr Hodgson. Chamberlain10 and sworn of the Privy Council. ] Upon the 10th we went from Ware to Tottenham, where my lord’s coach with his men and horses met me and came to London to the lesser Dorset House. Upon the 11th I came from London to Knole, where I had but a cold welcome from my lord. My Lady Margaret11 met me in the outermost gate and my lord came to me in the drawing chamber.
At other points in the diary this mixing of items reveals, sometimes comically, the multi-faceted life of an aristocratic woman in early seventeenth-century England. In February 1617, for example, she comments in one entry on her daughter’s nose-bleed and the king’s speech in the Star Chamber; the next month she notes how the dog has ‘puppied’ while she herself has finished reading Exodus with her chaplain. The following extracts from the diary for 1616 and 1617, when Clifford was 26 or 27 and married to the Earl of Dorset with one young daughter, are centrally concerned with two experiences: the death of her mother, and the prolonged dispute with Dorset over ‘the business’, an expressive euphemism for the legal wrangle which affected her personal and even sexual life (see 19–23 April 1617) so profoundly.