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Dear Prudence: Interwoven Lives in Margaret Cavendish's Sociable Companions

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Abstract:

The subplot of Margaret Cavendish's The Sociable Companions, involving Mistress Prudence's endeavors to find a compatible husband, has long been interpreted as a rendition of the author's own courtship with William Cavendish. In this paper I propose to add to our understanding of the play and, by extension, to our knowledge of the famously fractious Cavendish family history. Reading The Sociable Companions in the context of contemporary letters and other documents from the Interregnum allows us to see that Margaret was not the only model for Prudence. I argue that honor must be shared between the author and her eldest stepdaughter, Jane Cavendish. Scholars have frequently surmised that the two women disliked one another. If, as the evidence suggests, Margaret combined the story of her own courtship with the tumultuous circumstances of Jane's marriage to Charles Cheyne, the play provides a striking new perspective on the complex Cavendish family dynamics.
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Name: RSA Annual Meeting
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http://www.rsa.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481318_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bennett, Alexandra. "Dear Prudence: Interwoven Lives in Margaret Cavendish's Sociable Companions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481318_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bennett, A. "Dear Prudence: Interwoven Lives in Margaret Cavendish's Sociable Companions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481318_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The subplot of Margaret Cavendish's The Sociable Companions, involving Mistress Prudence's endeavors to find a compatible husband, has long been interpreted as a rendition of the author's own courtship with William Cavendish. In this paper I propose to add to our understanding of the play and, by extension, to our knowledge of the famously fractious Cavendish family history. Reading The Sociable Companions in the context of contemporary letters and other documents from the Interregnum allows us to see that Margaret was not the only model for Prudence. I argue that honor must be shared between the author and her eldest stepdaughter, Jane Cavendish. Scholars have frequently surmised that the two women disliked one another. If, as the evidence suggests, Margaret combined the story of her own courtship with the tumultuous circumstances of Jane's marriage to Charles Cheyne, the play provides a striking new perspective on the complex Cavendish family dynamics.


Similar Titles:
Heroic Passions in Margaret Cavendish’s Bell in Campo (1662)

Dear Prudence: The Feminization of Hobbesian Man

Dear Prudence: The Feminization of Hobbesian Man

Margaret Cavendish’s Spectacles of Severalness and Restoration Sociability


 
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