Chapter

Gentleman impostors

Tobias B. Hug

in Impostures in Early Modern England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780719079849
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702413 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719079849.003.0008
Gentleman impostors

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This chapter focuses on gentleman impostors and people who attempted to realise a noble life in order to make up for their imaginary or lost world. It analyses literary representations of gentlemen impostors and argues that they reflect a shift in meaning of the concept of gentility which created uncertainties over gentility itself, and who could be considered to qualify. The chapter also examines the cases of impostors Elizabeth Thornborough, William Morrell and William Stroud, and suggests that their experience highlights the importance of property and consumerism within the socioeconomic context of the period between the late seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.

Keywords: gentleman impostors; noble life; literary representations; gentility; Elizabeth Thornborough; William Morrell; William Stroud; property; consumerism

Chapter.  11270 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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