Feminine-centered history and the good cause in Mary Shelley's Perkin Warbeck Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Al-Fuhaid, Jena Abdullah
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • This study advances the long-overdue critical reevaluation of Mary Shelley's The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1830) by examining the appearances of the sixteenth-century pretender to the throne, Perkin Warbeck (both prior to and contemporaneous with Mary Shelley), in conventional historical writings and narratives of political reform. It provides the necessary, albeit esoteric, historical background, both Regency and medieval, for a thorough understanding of Perkin Warbeck and its historical moment and analyzes Mary Shelley's personal writings, letters, and journals for evidence of Perkin Warbeck's function as a safe venue for Mary Shelley's political opinions, participation in political reform, support of Wollstonecraftian ideology, and contributions to the 'good cause'--the cause of the advancement of freedom and knowledge, of the rights of women &c (MWSJ 555). Contrary to the scholarly assumption that Shelley retreated from the political sphere after P. B. Shelley's death, I suggest that Perkin Warbeck is, in fact, a political allegory, and I use the late-medieval lives of Princess Elizabeth and Elizabeth Woodville to critique Regency events, chiefly, George IV's persecution of Queen Caroline.
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  • In Copyright
  • Moskal, Jeanne
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2014

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