Honoring Friendship's Shadows: Marriage and Political Reputation in Lucy Hutchinson's Writings

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:
Honoring Friendship's Shadows: Marriage and Political Reputation in Lucy Hutchinson's Writings

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Lucy Hutchinson uses the language of betrayal-oriented friendship to preserve both her husband's republican reputation and her own. Later readers, seeing the Hutchinsons' marriage through the lens of companionate marriage rather than the conflict-ridden language of friendship, miss some of the forms of republicanism and dissent, within and without marriage. The conjunction of coverture and friendship thus helps to cast the vexed critical conversation about gender conservatism and political radicalism in Hutchinson's Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson in a new light. Hutchinson's gender conservatism strategically exploits ideologies of wifely obedience in order to rescue her husband's reputation while maintaining her own principles. This chapter moves across a historical sweep, from Hutchinson's early writings about her husband's wartime life in the 1650s, to the effects of the restoration in the 1660s, into her religious writings in the 1670s. It takes its guiding questions from the impossible conjunctions of Hutchinson's later reputation, looking to both manuscript and published materials in order to uncover the means by which those contradictions are effaced as contradictions.

Keywords: restoration; religious writings; republicanism; betrayal; gender conservatism; political radicalism; contradictions; Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson

Chapter.  14363 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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