By Carrie Hintz
When first released in 1888, the letters of Dorothy Osborne to William Temple - written among 1652 and 1654 - created a type of cult phenomenon within the Victorian interval. Osborne and Temple, either of their early twenties, shared a romance that used to be antagonistic through their households, and Osborne herself was once virtually continuously below surveillance. Osborne's letters supply an extraordinary glimpse into an early glossy woman's existence at a pivotal element, as she attempted to discover how to marry for romance in addition to fulfil her tasks to her family.
Combining old and biographical learn with feminist concept, Carrie Hintz considers Osborne's imaginative and prescient of letter writing, her literary fulfillment, and her literary affects. Osborne has lengthy been ignored as a author, creating a entire and thorough research lengthy late. whereas the nineteenth-century reception of the letters is testomony to the iconic public fascination with confined love narratives, Osborne's eloquent and outspoken articulation of her expectancies and wishes additionally makes her letters compelling in our personal time.
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Extra resources for An Audience of One: Dorothy Osborne's Letters to Sir William Temple, 1652-1654
I had rather agree to what you say then tell you that Dr Taylor (whose devote you must know I am) say's there is a great advantage to bee gained in resigning up on's will to the comande of another, because the same Action which in it selfe is wholly indifferent if done upon our owne Choice, becom's an Act of Duty and Religion if don in Obedience to the comande of any Person whome Nature the Law's or our selv's have given a power over us. Soe that though in an Action already don wee can only bee our owne Judges because wee only know with what intentions 34 An Audience of One it was don, yet in any wee intende tis safest sure to take the advice of Another.
20 Like their dramatic meeting, Temple's decision to continue with the marriage is part of the legend of the courtship, and was invoked by the Victorian critics among others. This story amplifies the long history of adversity the couple experienced before their marriage, even though its accuracy cannot be judged. 21 Despite the setbacks that plagued the courtship from beginning to end, Osborne and Temple were married at St Giles Church in High Holborne in 1654. They spent their honeymoon at Moor Park in Hertfordshire, which Temple described in a later essay as possessing 'the perfectest figure of a garden I ever saw'22 (this estate is not to be confused with Moor Park, William Temple's future estate in Surrey).
She was able to forcefully express her beliefs about marital relationships while continuing to shape her ideas. Her view of power imbalances in marital relationships, for example, Dorothy Osborne's Courtship 33 shifted and evolved. At one point in her letters, she rejected the role of the all-powerful Petrarchan mistress: You shall not perswade mee to bee your Mistresse if you would, I am too much your friend to act that part well. I knew a Lady that rather then she would want an occasion to bee Cruell, made it a fault in her Servant that hee Loved her too much, and another, that hee was not Jealous of her.
An Audience of One: Dorothy Osborne's Letters to Sir William Temple, 1652-1654 by Carrie Hintz