Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kathye on Anne Killigrew

Mris. Anne Killigrew (Kathye Macias-Ramirez)


Born in 1660 in London at the start of the Restoration to an upper class family, Anne Killigrew lived a short life as an English poet, painter and supposed maid of honor to Mary of Modena. What is known about Killigrew, is known through the recorded lives of her family, her poems, and an ode to her by Dryden. She was secretly christened, for common prayer was not openly allowed. Killigrew’s family “. . .was closely involved with royalist politics,” her father, Henry Killigrew, was a clergyman appointed Master of the Savoy Hospital in Westminster. After being chaplain to James, Duke of York. The family was also involved with the theatre, her uncle and father in particular wrote plays. Though there is no evidence of the type of education she received, her understanding and inclusion of “. . .Greek and Roman mythology and of biblical history,” give an idea that her knowledge extended beyond conversational. Killigrew also ‘moved in court circles,’ and was said to have been a “maid of honour to Mary of Modena, wife of James, Duke of York,” however no record was kept to confirm the appointment. Nevertheless, her poems were circulated throughout court circles in manuscript. This circulation of poems was common in order to reach “‘fame’ or recognition by. . .peers.” The poem, Upon the saying that my verses were made by another, shows Killigrew’s motivation to be recognized for her work. After her death, her father asked Dryden to write an ode to the memory of his daughter. Dryden describes Killigrew as a blossoming prodigy that did not live to her potential, while also commemorating her father’s skill as encouragement to Killigrew’s work. A few months after her death her father published a book of her poems concluding what would be known of Anne Killigrew. 

Main Source:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Categories for presentations

Dear L322 / B635:  I'd like each of you to volunteer to choose an area and present on it when assigned for the rest of the semester.  Would that be too limiting?  I think you can comment directly on the post in Blogger at the bottom. Feel free to do so.

Thank you.
Painting and sculpture  Tara
Architecture Als (is this how you would prefer to be known?) or Tayla
Philosophy  Tanner
Historical events and people in England, 1660-1760 Rachel
Historical events and people in Europe and America, 1660-1760 PAIGE
Women's writing, feminism Alicia
Literary theory and aesthetics Jacob
English engagements with race, colonialism, slavery
religion, religious movements
musicke Chris
notions of "Enlightenment"
science, inventions

Chris on Clarendon

Edward Hyde, 1st Duke of Clarendon By Sir. Peter Lely

Edward Hyde, Duke of Clarendon (Chris Graham)

Edward Hyde was born the sixth of nine children to Henry and Mary Hyde in 1609. From an early age, Edward intended to pursue a life in service to the church, however, the death of his two older brothers he was left the sole heir to his father’s estate. Through encouragement from his uncle, Sir Nicholas Hyde, Edward began to study law at the Middle Temple, one of four Inns of Court whose members were eligible to be called to the bar as barristers. Shortly after the death of Edward’s first wife, Ann Ayliffe, Hyde was called to the bar in 1633 with his colleague Bulstrode Whitelocke. They were chosen to represent the middle temple by preparing a masque, or a form of courtly entertainment, in response to Histrio-Mastix, William Prynne's notorious attack on the theatre and the culture of the Caroline court. The masque The Triumph of Peace was performed before the King and Queen in February 1634. In 1634, Hyde married his second wife, Frances, daughter of the courtier Sir Thomas Ayelsbury. This marriage gave Hyde considerable connections to establish a legal practice for himself. His clients included William Laud, the archbishop of Canterbury. In 1640, he was elected to serve in the Short Parliament, and then again in the Long Parliament. In November of 1641, Hyde voted against the Grand Remonstrance which he thought would unbalance the relationship between the king, parliament, and the church. In 1641, he was made an advisor to the king and spent his time writing declarations and attempting to stave off some of the king’s more reckless decisions. He attended the king during the English Civil war and was present during the Battle of Edgehill, where he was tasked with looking after the Princes, Charles and James. In February of 1643, Hyde was knighted and appointed to the privy council and later appointed to the secret committee or “junto” which discussed important matters with the king before they were presented before the privy council. He continued to serve politically until 1648 when he was forced to join Prince Charles in exile in Paris during the Second Civil War. He remained with Charles through the execution of his father in 1649, and followed him through his coronation. After Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658, Hyde was appointed Lord Chancellor and entered into negotiations with English Presbyterians who supported the return of the monarchy. Scandal broke out when it was discovered that his daughter, Anne, had become pregnant. She initially fingered James, Duke of York, as the father and they had been secretly married. James vehemently denied his marriage to a commoner however, Anne was recognized as Duchess of York in 1661. Edward Hyde was offered Dukedom, however, he preferred to accept the lesser title of First Earl of Clarendon. His career was short-lived, as he became the scapegoat for England’s defeat in the Anglo-Dutch War [1665-67]. He was forced into exile in France after threats of impeachment. He died in Rouen in December of 1674. His body was brought back to England and he now rests in Westminster Abbey.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Aly on Deism

Deism (Aly Leedy)

The Age of Enlightenment was a major turning point in not only British history but the history of the majority of the world as well.  It was similar to an uprooting of all former beliefs and the movement into a day of enlightenment, science, and realism; hence why it is called the Age of Enlightenment.  In this period of evolutionary change in the way people thought, Deism was born.  Christianity, although still around during the enlightenment period, faded into the background of Deism as Christianity and all of its practices were changing drastically from very traditional Roman Catholicism to something nearing non-denominationalism. 
            To define Deism is a complicated task.  By definition, it is the belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not interfere in the universe.  Moreover, there is a supreme deity that created existence but said supernatural deity does not interact with humankind.  It began in the mid-1600s, in the prime of the enlightenment movement, and focused on intellectual spirituality.  This entire paradigm was based off of the idea of “God-given human reason” which stems from traditional Christian Biblical teachings, moral standards, and on the natural laws introduced by Isaac Newton.  In light of Isaac Newton’s God-given natural laws, Deists decreed that God created the universe but “no longer directly intervened in its workings” because “the universe is a machine with natural laws that even God never changes or suspends.”
            This new way of thinking combined traditional religion and morals with the new scientific and inductive methods of Sir Francis Bacon.  Before the Enlightenment period began to change the way people thought, Christians attained their beliefs and morals from reading the Bible and going to church; however, after Deism came into play, “all beliefs and ethics” were tested by repeated “‘scientific’ experiments and social research which examined whether or not [said] beliefs and ethics were true.” With this lack of any true relation to God, people developed this idea of Libertinism, forcing them into “one of the most wicked and immoral periods” in history due to an increase in “crime, drunkenness, sexual immorality, pornography, stealing, murder…, and immodest attitudes towards exposing genitalia.” People, moreover, became primitive again and purely acted upon what they wanted to do rather than what was right and practical within their society; this is all because of the lack of a divine deity.  Therefore, eventually, Deism fell out of practice.  Present-day Deism is called Spiritualism today, where people know of a Divine and its greatness.  They pray to said Divine for peace and well-being, but they do not have a personal relation to the Divine.
            With Deism, people still prayed and thanked God for all that they had, but they did it in a different way: they prayed for giving them the natural instincts that developed Libertinism and various other reckless acts.  Moreover, Deism seemed like a good idea, but people were happy that it fell out of practice due to what it lead to.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Allie on Dorothy Mermin's "Women Becoming Poets"

Dorothy Mermin, "Women Becoming Poets," English Literary History 57 (1990): 335-55. (Allie Bennett)

Mermin’s article provides a brief history of important female poets of the seventeenth century and explains why appearing in print was relatively risky. For women during this time, writing was equated with self-display, which dictated the amount of intimacy that could be portrayed, especially that having to do with sexuality.

In England before the nineteenth century, women poets where nonexistent in society because of cultural suppression of the female voices. The three most important women poets during this time was Katherine Philips (1631-1664), Aphra Behn (1640-1689), and Anne Finch (1661-1720).

Behn was a playwright, poet, translator; she was a woman trying to make in a man’s world. Many people believed she was a staunch Royalist, a spy, and a scarlet woman who was condemned for her loose morals. Behn was also the first Englishwoman to earn money while writing literature and plays. Many of her plays were tragicomedies and then later in the 1670s her plays were more comic. In the early 1680s she began to produce fiction into her poetry and translations. During her years she had relationships with two men named Will Scott and John Hoyle, who were presented in her fictional poetry.

Philip’s often used a pen-name when writing poetry, which was Orinda. She often wrote about friendships and didn’t want her relationships going past the intellectual level. Some speculation was drawn that she was a lesbian love poet. Orinda is known for her elegant poetry that can be rapid; she writes simply and straightforwardly, and she also exhibits her strong feelings towards her writings. Orinda was known as a “safe: female poet for men to praise (Dryden) and women to read.

Finch modeled her behavior after Philips and Behn, she published a number of poems in 1713 and her reputation then diminished. She did enjoy some fame during her time after the passing of James II and William III, the general political climate approved and Queen Anne was more acceptable as a sovereign. Her work includes private thoughts and her personal struggles, and demonstrated her fluent use of Augustan diction and forms; along with her awareness of the social and political climate of the era.

Each of these women had different subjects and styles but the circumstances they underwent enabled them to write. These women did not prefer to write iambic pentameter, formal odes or epics, exalted diction, or classical allusion; they preferred fables, conversational tone, small and ordinary themes, and they also talk in self-deprecating, low-keyed tones because they were women and were remote from politics and power. They provided what women poets needed most: not just freedom to write but subjects to write about, places within poetry where a woman could situate herself to speak. Politics and religion where more masculine but the subject of love poetry had been dominated since Sappho’s time by male subjectivity, women where often talked about as silent objects of male desire. Philips, Behn, and Finch created imaginative poetry that was about different genders and erotic relationships and based on their life experiences. Dorothy Mermin’s purpose for writing “Women Becoming Poets” was too make publicly aware that the task of woman poetry was redefined because of these women, and instead of a world with masculine views they made their own settings and themes that expressed female desire and evade the domination of men. “Both Philips and Finch feared publication as a kind of sexual self-display, a fear that Behn’s career amply justified” (336-37).


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tanner on Descartes and Spinoza

René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza (Tanner Luffman)

René Descartes (1596-1650)
Born on March 31, 1596 in La Haye, France to a family of minor nobility, René Descartes would later come to be considered one of the great 17th century philosophers and be named the parent of modern philosophy. He helped usher in the acceptance of science, technology and industry through his literary works, which helped change skepticism about the debate between scholastic authority versus the systematic search for truth into a positive agenda. Some of his theories helped lay the groundwork for future scientific feats, such as his detailed theory about rainbows eventually leading to Isaac Newton’s explanation about the breakdown of sunlight. Even today, some of his philosophical agendas remain relevant to today, such as the cogito (I think, therefore I am), dualism, and radical skepticism, and have even given rise to modern epistemology.
Descartes was a college graduate at the age of eighteen, and the recipient of a law degree by 1616, supposedly with the intention of following in the footsteps of his father, a man of parliament. Instead, in 1618 he spent the next 10 years travelling all around Europe as part of the military. During this time, Descartes met prominent intellectuals, such as physicist Isaac Beeckman, who encouraged his pursuits. He has a brief 1 year period at the University of Franeker, during the time he wrote his first draft on his philosophical work Meditations. He enrolled and stayed the next year at the University of Leiden before leaving for travels through Denmark and Germany the following year in order to meet other scholars. By 1933, he finished another work called The World, which was published in 1664 after his death due to the fear of public reprisal.
As his publications continued, revolving around controversial ideas for the time, Descartes garnered himself some fame, both the good and the bad, during his lifetime. He eventually took up a philosophy tutoring position for the Queen of Sweden in September 1649, before succumbing shortly after to pneumonia on February 11, 1650.

Notes:Epistemology: The branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge
Dualism: Mind something separate than the bodySources:

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)
Born on November 24, 1632 in Amsterdam, Baruch was born to a Jewish family who had escaped persecution from Portugal because of the wave of anti-Semitism going on during the time. Because of the nature of anti-Semitism and Europe throughout history, especially during his time in life, his Jewish background defined him and played a major role on his life despite his loose association with the Jewish community throughout the majority his life. Nonetheless, he achieved critical acclaim after some posthumous publications; his radical views led him to be defined as one of the great rationalists of the 17th century.
Spinoza received a traditional orthodox Jewish education, but despite that he had an interest in the developments of science and philosophy. He was influenced by a wide range of cultures, ranging from contact with free-thinking Protestants to works from major Islamic philosophers like Al Ghazali (who promoted the philosophy of skepticism). These influences came from the unique culture that had manifested in Amsterdam because of the religious freedom that the Dutch allowed. His interests, beliefs and religious skepticism (he was anti-Maimodinean the majority of his life) went against the prevailing Jewish beliefs during the time, making him infamous among the Jewish community and eventually led to excommunication (called a Cherum) later on in his life, around 1656. Despite the Cherum, he became well-known in the 1660s and started meeting and conversing with other intellectuals like Gottfried Leibniz and Henry Oldenburg.
In terms of philosophy, Spinoza was also greatly influenced by some of the well-known thinkers of the time, such as Descartes, Euclid, and Hobbes. He was a supporter of pantheism panentheism*. Spinoza took Descartes’ rationalism and proposed that “God exists only philosophically” while others such as Leibniz tried to find a compromise between the transcendence of God and pantheism.
Spinoza eventually regretted his choices and reconciled, which led to writing pieces in favor of Moses Maimonedes and a rereading of the Torah. This led to him writing three of his famous treatises On the Improvement of the Understanding, Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, and A Theologico-Political Treatise. The public’s reaction to some of the anonymously published works were less than desirable. In response, he cauti0ously worked and held onto some of his other works until his death in February 1677 in order to be published posthumously. 

Panentheism, also known as Monistic Monotheism, is a belief system which posits that the divine – whether as a single God, number of gods, or other form of "cosmic animating force" – interpenetrates every part of the universe and extends, timelessly (and, presumably, spacelessly) beyond it.
Pantheism is a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.