Chapter

The Problem of Resistance in Old‐Tory Ideology: Passive Obedience, Seduction Plots, and the <i>Five Love‐Letters</i>

Toni Bowers

in Force or Fraud

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592135
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725340 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592135.003.0003
The Problem of Resistance in Old‐Tory Ideology: Passive Obedience, Seduction Plots, and the Five Love‐Letters

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This chapter demonstrates the importance of the doctrine of “passive obedience and non‐resistance” in seventeenth‐century royalist and monarchist ideology, and shows how a crisis surrounding the doctrine emerged in the 1680s around the “Glorious Revolution.” This crisis shaped both the experiences of tory‐oriented subjects and the prose fiction they produced. An impasse was created for many subjects when they were required to swear allegiance to William and Mary or defy the de facto government at the cost of social viability. That impasse led to a proliferation of literature interrogating the meanings and limits of passive obedience, its connection to virtue (in both the political and the domestic spheres), and the possibility of options besides wholesale collusion or resistance. The chapter argues for the importance to this debate of Lettres Portugaises (1669), translated by Roger L'Estrange as Five Love‐Letters from a Nun to a Cavalier in 1678, and its influence on later seventeenth‐century and eighteenth‐century seduction writing.

Keywords: “passive obedience and non‐resistance”; “Glorious Revolution”; “tory‐oriented”; Sir Roger L'Estrange; Lettres Portugaises (1669); Five Love‐Letters from a Nun to a Cavalier (1678); Gabriel-Joseph de Lavergne, Vicomte de Guilleragues; collusion; resistance; de facto v. de jure

Chapter.  10715 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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