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    Elegy and the politics of grief

    Bassett, Jane Elizabeth (2022) Elegy and the politics of grief. MPhil thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis asks what it meant to write elegy over the years 1640 to 1670. It explores how writers used and transformed elegy and the different elegiac traditions and conventions they inherited in the context of the deepening political and military crisis in English society and evaluates them in the light of extended critical debate as to how and in what ways elegy changed over this time. Chapter One argues that the polarisation and bitterness engendered by the Civil War led to many of the conventions of elegy being placed under increasing pressure, but that ultimately elegy’s flexibility as a genre sees its survival. The chapter is organised around three key sets of events: 1641 to 1642, as the country moved towards Civil War; 1646 and the death of the Earl of Essex; 1648 and the deaths of Royalist ‘martyrs’ Lucas and Lisle and of Parliamentarian Thomas Rainsborough. The second chapter explores Royalist funeral elegy written following the regicide through consideration of two collections, Vaticinium Votivum, and Monumentum Regale. Both collections are placed in a growing market reflecting the disbelief, rage and grief felt by Royalists and are used in an overtly polemical manner. Eulogy and lament are mixed with vitriolic calls for vengeance, damning the regicides and the parliamentary cause as avatars of anarchy and pushing elegy to its limits. The final chapter explores the royalist elegies of Royalist Hester Pulter and those of Republican Lucy Hutchinson, mourning her husband, and considers how their writing is shaped by their personal and political isolation and the constraints placed on them as women writers. It shows how they draw on traditions of pastoral and love elegy and meld them with the eulogy and the polemic of funeral elegy in ways that it is argued begin to transform the genre.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2022 16:14
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:55


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