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The Carleton Bigamy Trial Coming Soon

Megan Matchinske’s edition of texts about the case of Mary Carleton will prove a treasure trove to students and scholars with an interest in gender, the law, and social class. The works assembled in this collection offer a valuable window into questions of personal identity and performance, but they also teach us to observe closely and ask probing questions about evidence and the construction of persuasive narratives in an early modern court of law and in popular print culture. The primary materials are carefully edited, and the engaging introduction provides pertinent context for both students and scholars, allowing readers to become familiar with or revisit this fascinating instance of seventeenth-century female self-fashioning.
-Martine Van Elk, Professor of English, California State University, Long Beach

The seven pamphlets in this edition focus on Mary Carleton’s bigamy trial, a trial in which the accused eloquently defends herself and is ultimately acquitted. Written in the early years of the English Restoration, they demonstrate that narratives presenting what “she said” and what ”he said” can reveal, forcefully and painfully, how truth can be fragmented in the different arenas of law, love, and politics. Through their disparate accounts of a marriage gone wrong, these pamphlets reinforce the social status quo even while they radically shatter the very foundations that give it heft. In asking readers to question absolutes, they unmask the precarious relationship between words and the world.

MEGAN MATCHINSKE, Professor Emerita of English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has published both theoretical and practical approaches to reading early modern women’s writing. Her current research investigates early rights debates through a gender-critical lens.

Megan Matchinske’s edition of texts about the case of Mary Carleton will prove a treasure trove to students and scholars with an interest in gender, the law, and social class. The works assembled in this collection offer a valuable window into questions of personal identity and performance, but they also teach us to observe closely and ask probing questions about evidence and the construction of persuasive narratives in an early modern court of law and in popular print culture. The primary materials are carefully edited, and the engaging introduction provides pertinent context for both stude...

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book Details

  • Page Count:

    371 pages

  • Publication Year:

    2023

  • Publisher:

    Iter Press
  • Series:

    • The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 97

Print

USD$ 60.95 ISBN 978-1-64959-075-6 Order Print Book

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