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Cavalier and she-majesty: the cultural politics of gender in Jane Cavendish’s poetry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kate Chedgzoy



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This essay makes a case for using women’s writing to open up a more inclusive and expansive reimagining of Cavalier literary discourse which allows both for thinking critically about masculinity and for positioning women as creative subjects, not merely textual objects. Locating Jane Cavendish’s verse of the 1640s in its occasional, familial and political contexts, I read it as contributing to a coterie textual practice designed to respond emotionally and politically to the unprecedented experiences of the Civil Wars. Making a rare contribution to the formation of the masculine figure of the Cavalier from a woman’s point of view, Cavendish’s poetry also voices a complementary Royalist woman’s political poetics of feeling and sociability in both heterosocial and homosocial contexts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chedgzoy K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Seventeenth Century

Year: 2017

Volume: 32

Issue: 4

Pages: 393-412

Online publication date: 07/02/2018

Acceptance date: 15/05/2017

Date deposited: 11/06/2018

ISSN (print): 0268-117X

ISSN (electronic): 2050-4616

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/0268117X.2017.1394117


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