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Title: Representations of intimacy and the historiography of early modern private life.
Author: Bracher, Tricia Amanda.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis argues that the history of early modern private life has erroneously deployed a model of sixteenth-century private/public relations which is by turns absolutist and feudal. Specifically challenging the influence of David Starkey's paradigm of "intimacy" with the monarch as the prior condition of Tudor representation, I submit five case studies of Renaissance literary and visual intimacy, arguing instead for a model of social proximities that takes account of the textuality of intimacy, the textual construction of privacy and the cultural importance of works which lie outside the domain of royal patronage and representation. I consider the ways in which sixteenth-century treatments of the Henry VIII's "minion", Mark Smeaton, and John Heywood's construction of the minion in The Play of the Wether (1533) are linked by their attempt to negotiate the subject of sexual intimacy with the king. I argue for Gerlach Flicke's 1554 prison diptych of himself with the pirate Henry Strangeways as an articulation of subaltern intimacy between men connected by their criminal status. I contend that the miniature portraits by the mid-Tudor court artist Levina Teerlinc are testaments to social and mercantile proximities that are not predicated upon a special intimacy between female artist and female monarch. I explore texts relating to Dorothy Percy, wife of the ninth earl of Northumberland and sister of the second earl of Essex, in the context of her dealings with her male relations. Through this I argue for the contemporary existence (particularly in moments of political crisis) of a paradigm of intimacy-as-abuse based on the genre of the intelligence letter. Finally I suggest that the manuscripts produced by the writing master Esther Inglis during the English succession crisis of 1599, traditionally read as examples of private, female calligraphy, should be seen as intelligence documents, as manifestations of Anglo-Scottish diplomacy which exploit the textuality of Renaissance intimacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available