3 Annotations

First Reading

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Elizabeth Cromwell (née Bourchier; 1598–1665) was the wife of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. She is sometimes referred to as the Lady Protectress or Protectress Joan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Mrs. Cromwell appears to have been maligned by everyone after the Restoration:

"Yet at least one study emphasizes how Elizabeth Cromwell was a target for critics, both on the Royalist right and the Leveller left, and how the Protectorate in turn built up a picture of Elizabeth to satisfy its brand of politics. Republican opponents of the Protectorate attacked Elizabeth as a would-be Queen who fueled the overreaching of her husband.

"Royalists, after the Restoration, had a class attack, sneering at the woman who was supposedly more suited for the barn than for the palace. 41 41 Katharine Gillespie, ‘Elizabeth Cromwell's Kitchen Court: Republicanism and the Consort’, Genders 33, 2001, http://www.Genders.org. [BELOW]

"As a major study on Elizabeth Cromwell argues: “The criticisms of Elizabeth that emerge from both the "left" -- the republican critiques of the post-regicidal grandees and their wives -- as well as the "right" -- the popular royalist critiques of the republic -- reveal the degree to which debates over the scope and function of private and public spheres within particular political orders are often waged through the cultural politics of gender. Both republican and royalist representations of Elizabeth Cromwell are enmeshed in larger disputes over the contradictions that each side perceived within the entity of a Protectorate -- the body politic that emerged during the Interregnum period as neither a monarchy nor a republic but rather an uneasy synthesis of the two, not unlike "Protectorate Joan," as Elizabeth was often called.

"As an oxymoronic plebeian queen, Elizabeth Cromwell's class and gender identities were used by both sides to project their sense of what the abject and excessive feature was that tipped the scale of the Protectorate towards the social and political failure it met with at the return of Charles II in 1660.” 42
42 Katharine Gillespie, ‘Elizabeth Cromwell's Kitchen Court: Republicanism and the Consort’, Genders 33, 2001, paragraph 5.

EXCERPTED FROM Christopher Hill: Women Turning the World Upside Down, by Soma Marik (2004)

Remember Montagu's snobbish sneers about Monck and his relatives at the start of the Diary? Class warfare was alive and well.

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