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Title: Women's mausoleums imagined : reformation, text and tomb, c.1550-1650
Author: Lauenstein, Eva-Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9051
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis argues that the funeral monument provided women with a literal and figurative place to participate in the writing of the English Protestant Reformation. Recent literary scholarship has fruitfully explored the tomb in the early modern imagination by bringing commemorative practices into dialogue with textual production. While such studies have uncovered the cultural significance of the funeral monument as a literary motif in creative encounters with remembrance and grief, and memory and posterity, little has been said about the tomb's religiosity, and how it functioned to formulate the religious break with Rome in literary and cultural productions. This study reads the written and built funeral monuments of, or to, Katherine Willoughby Brandon Bertie, Duchess of Suffolk, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, Anna Mountfort Bill, and Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle in the context of contemporary religious texts to find the ways that women's monuments created narratives of English Protestant selfhood. The doctrinal and religious significance of the tombs of women are approached from two angles. On the one hand, the chronological framework of this thesis allows us to gain different synchronic sights of women's tombs as sites for the affirmation of religious belief at key moments when the potential for religious unity in England was seriously jeopardised. On the other, it provides a diachronic view of female tombs in the cultural imagination of the period, showing that they persistently articulated new beliefs in relation to the fabric of medieval ecclesiastical space and the religious structures that had gone before. Thus, this thesis argues that the commemoration of women played a significant role in shaping the character of English Protestantism. In turn, commemorative building allowed women to shape the religiopolitical fabric of England by bringing their own interpretations of official government documentation, authorised bibles, sermons, conduct books, devotional texts and antiquarian writing to an audience of contemporary viewers and readers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available