BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    "The Crown and Glory of a Woman": female chastity in Eighteenth‐Century British art

    Retford, Kate (2013) "The Crown and Glory of a Woman": female chastity in Eighteenth‐Century British art. In: Arnold, D. and Peters Corbett, D. (eds.) A Companion to British Art: 1600 to the Present. Wiley, pp. 473-501. ISBN 9781405136297.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    The Waldegrave portrait pays a variety of compliments to its sitters. The women are shown to be skilled in the elegant accomplishment of lace making, and are clearly ladies of fashion, wearing elaborately piled hair and dresses made of muslin. This chapter talks about two crucial issues. First, there is very rarely a complete shift from one status quo to another. Second, the polarized conceptions of female sexuality, the passionate and the pure, are not quite as different as may be supposed. The complexity of Pamela in the Bedroom again shows the blurring of the boundaries between the chaste and the unchaste, between the Madonna and the Magdalene. In the portrait, it is not simply that the Ladies Waldegrave are sexually attractive as well as or in spite of being chaste. Rather, their alluring qualities are caught up with the signs of their chastity, with downcast eyes and flushed cheeks.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2020 06:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:05


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item