Anne, Lady Bacon : a life in letters
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Anne, Lady Bacon (c.1S2B-1610) is chiefly remembered as the translator of several important religious texts and as the mother of Francis and Anthony Bacon. This thesis seeks to re-evaluate her fulfilment of her role as a mother, translator and religious patron through an examination of her correspondence and an assessment of her published works. In doing so it demonstrates that Anne was adept at utilising epistolary conventions in order to achieve her politico-religious aims, and was far more capable at negotiating complex webs of power than has hitherto been acknowledged. Over one hundred of her letters survive, most of which are written to Anthony between the 1592 and 1596, and only a few of which have been published. I have transcribed all these extant letters, and through a close analysis of their content and material construction I offer an outline of her epistolary habits, and demonstrate how her letter-writing practice was influenced by the practical elements of sixteenth-century epistolary culture. I describe the factors that influenced Anne's relationship with her sons, and analyse how both parties performed or neglected their duties. The second half of my thesis focuses on Anne's religious patronage. I describe the iconographic significance of the female translator, and examine Anne's contribution to the nascent Protestant literary culture. Faced with a political climate that was becoming increasingly hostile to expressions of nonconformity, I look at how Anne harnessed other means by which to support the puritan cause, and assess the extent to which she directed the religious tenor of her local parishes.
AuthorsMair, Katherine Alice
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