"Monuments of Truth" focuses on Englishwomen's texts from the 1650s to 1670s that attempt to reframe history and control access to the recent past. Turmoil marks the years covered by this project, and throughout this period the authors I consider and the politically-defined communities to which they belong experience multiple turns of fortune's wheel. While at some point all deal with injustice, injury, and instability that originates in war, they experience this most urgently at different times depending on their political allegiances. Thus the first two chapters of my dissertation consider royalist commemoration from the Commonwealth years, in the forms of autobiography and recipe book, that helped construct and sustain a community in exile and defeat prior to the return of the Stuart monarchy. The latter half of the dissertation turns to the work of the republican Lucy Hutchinson, who struggles to come to terms with the Restoration as a source of personal and political grief. Both sections trace the meanings about war that individual authors make for themselves and express in their own stories, but in ways that link them up with and make them available for shared commemorative efforts, including publication and the use of particular keywords or vocabularies of metaphor. Throughout the dissertation, I show that writers from across the spectrum of religious and political affiliation and working in diverse genres nevertheless turn to languages of the domestic in order to collectivize their individual memories of the wars. This project contributes to growing research in several areas: the politicization of domesticity in the seventeenth century, women's war writing, and the relationship between memory and history in accounts of the English Civil Wars.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: English. Advisor: John A. Watkins. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 217 pages.
Schumacher-Schmidt, Dana Michelle.
Monuments of truth: domesticity, memory, and politics in the English Civil Wars and restoration.
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