Criticism Theory

An Audience of One: Dorothy Osborne's Letters to Sir William by Carrie Hintz

By Carrie Hintz

When first released in 1888, the letters of Dorothy Osborne to William Temple - written among 1652 and 1654 - created one of those cult phenomenon within the Victorian interval. Osborne and Temple, either of their early twenties, shared a romance that used to be adverse through their households, and Osborne herself used to be nearly continually below surveillance. Osborne's letters offer an extraordinary glimpse into an early glossy woman's lifestyles at a pivotal aspect, as she attempted to discover the way to marry for romance in addition to fulfil her tasks to her family.

Combining historic and biographical learn with feminist conception, Carrie Hintz considers Osborne's imaginative and prescient of letter writing, her literary success, and her literary affects. Osborne has lengthy been missed as a author, creating a complete and thorough research lengthy past due. whereas the nineteenth-century reception of the letters is testomony to the iconic public fascination with confined love narratives, Osborne's eloquent and outspoken articulation of her expectancies and wishes additionally makes her letters compelling in our personal time.

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Additional info for An Audience of One: Dorothy Osborne's Letters to Sir William Temple, 1652-1654

Sample text

The castle, standing (as it still does) on a promontory physically separated from the city, functioned as a target for the parliamentarian townspeople, as the city did in turn for the royalist soldiers within the castle. The local museum in St Peter's Port, Guernsey, bears the sign of a continued grudge against Sir Peter Osborne, stressing how he and his soldiers attacked the townspeople. Cannonballs from the siege are still unearthed occasionally. As lieutenant governor of Guernsey, Peter Osborne had to foot the bill for the whole endeavour.

40 It is impossible to know where Ehrenpreis marshalled his evidence about Lady Temple's character and 'darkened temperament,' but he quoted a letter where she spoke of her despair of 'the world' after her son's death. 41 Jonathan Swift's 'Occasioned by Sir W T's Late Illness and Recovery December 1673,' focuses on the two important women in Temple's life, the 'weeping Dorinda' (Martha Giffard) and 'Mild Dorothea' (Dorothy Temple). The stanza describing Dorothy Temple reads as follows: Mild Dorothea, peaceful, wise, and great, Trembling beheld the doubtful hand of fate; Mild Dorothea, whom we both have long Not dar'd to injure with our lowly song; Sprung from a better world, and chosen then The best companion for the best of men: As some fair pile, yet spar'd by zeal and rage, Lives pious witness of a better age; So men may see what once was womankind, In the fair shrine of Dorothea's mind.

Well tis a pleasant world this, if Mr Pirn were alive again I wonder what hee would think of these proceedings and whither this would apeare as great a breach of the Privilidge of Parliament as the demanding of the members. But I shall talk treason by and by if I doe not look to my self (90). Osborne combines these political observations with a reminiscence of her suit by Henry Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell. At the end, she skirts politically dangerous materials. 45 Once again, Osborne displayed her awareness of the political commentary she was advancing, enough to express anxiety about it.

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