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"Phantoms of my own creating": amity, elegy and the limits of friendship in Lady Mary Chudleigh's works

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The discourse of ideal classical amity had a major impact on women's writing of the late seventeenth century. Profoundly masculine though this discourse was, it provided a potent resonance for Lady Mary Chudleigh, who reformulated it to serve feminised ends. This essay explores Chudleigh's delineation of an outward-looking amity, which was premised on textual exchange, offered good counsel, promoted exemplary models of virtuous femininity and established an alternative model of community to orthodox society. However, it also examines two of Chudleigh's most striking poems, her elegies on her mother and daughter, which underscore the limits and vulnerability of the emerging discourse of feminine amity that her work inscribes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalLiterature & History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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