The concealed fancies and Cavendish identity

HOPKINS, Lisa (2016). The concealed fancies and Cavendish identity. In: EDWARDS, Peter and GRAHAM, Elpseth, (eds.) Authority, authorship and aristocratic identity in Seventeenth-Century England: William Cavendish, Ist Duke of Newcastle, and his political, social and cultural connections. Rulers & Elites (9). Leiden, Brill, 111-128.

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The Concealed Fancies, a play co-written by the earl of Newcastle’s two eldest daughters Lady Jane Cavendish and Lady Elizabeth Brackley and originally intended for household performance at either Bolsover or Welbeck, is strongly focused on family. The main plot, which centres on the two fictional sisters called Luceny and Tattiney, clearly affords, amongst other things, a means for the two actual sisters Jane and Elizabeth to express the intellectual sympathy and mutual devotion which is evident throughout their lives and writings; the subplot introduces three female cousins, who to some extent seem to offer additional portrayals of the two Cavendish daughters and of their younger sister Frances, and two brothers, who are clearly based on their own two brothers Charles and Henry, while the happy ending is brought about only with the appearance of the sisters’ father, who is clearly modelled on Newcastle himself. In this essay, I trace the ways in which this clever and sophisticated play represents identity as constructed through language, particularly literary and theatrical language, not least because it draws on a number of earlier literary texts associated with the Cavendish family. I pay particular attention to its debts to Shakespeare and to the Nottinghamshire dramatist William Sampson.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Series ISSN - 2211-4610
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Humanities
Page Range: 111-128
Depositing User: Lisa Hopkins
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 15:41
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 17:45

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