John Evelyn and Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt

Cedric C. Brown

in Friendship and its Discourses in the Seventeenth Century

Published in print November 2016 | ISBN: 9780198790792
Published online December 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191833434 | DOI:
John Evelyn and Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt

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This chapter analyses the friendship offices Evelyn cultivated with the lively beauty, Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt. The evidence includes a picture, a garden feature, letters, diaries, spiritual diaries, and a semi-fictionalized narrative. This relationship is traced from early stages in Paris, where the teenaged Elizabeth was best friend of Mary Browne (later Evelyn’s young wife); through Evelyn’s offers of marriage negotiation and spiritual guidance; the tumultuous years of marriage to the royalist conspirator, John Mordaunt; a famous show trial; exile in France; the troubled Restoration years, with further trials, litigation, and debt; and finally the last phase after Mordaunt’s death, when Evelyn acted as advisor, shared devotions, and administered charities. It was to Elizabeth that he turned to mourn and pray after losing his beloved Margaret Godolphin. The patronage of Clarendon is also interwoven, his brief essay on friendship compared to Taylor’s Discourse, again identifying the healing functions which Evelyn honoured.

Keywords: John Evelyn; Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt; letters and diaries; spiritual diaries; marriage negotiation; spiritual guidance; John Mordaunt; trials; Margaret Godolphin; Earl of Clarendon

Chapter.  9509 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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