Introduction: Friendship, Gender, Politics

Penelope Anderson

in Friendship's Shadows

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748655823
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676620 | DOI:
Introduction: Friendship, Gender, Politics

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This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to offer different ways of looking both at what was — the figurations of loyalty and betrayal; the relations of gender and political obligation; the work of literary texts in shaping and expressing those ideas — and what might have been — a theory of political obligation modelled on friendship. The central claim of this book is that two exceptional women, independently of one another, take up the discourse of friendship and in so doing offer new ways of understanding the most important intellectual problem of their time. The women are Katherine Philips and Lucy Hutchinson. The chapter presents a reassessment of the classical friendship tradition and its Renaissance manifestations; a discussion of women's political subjectivity that shows why they could exploit this tradition; and a consideration of alternative political models in relation to friendship.

Keywords: friendship; loyalty; betrayal; political obligation; Renaissance; Katherine Philips; Lucy Hutchinson

Chapter.  10524 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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