'All the ceremonyes and civilityes': The Authorship of Diplomacy in the Memoirs of Ann, Lady Fanshawe

Bassnett, Madeline
April 2011
Seventeenth Century;Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p94
Academic Journal
Critical reception of Ann, Lady Fanshawe's Memoirs (1676) has been mixed, tending to laud her transgressive behaviour during the civil war but castigating her for an apparent retreat into gendered submission during her Restoration recounting of her husband Richard Fanshawe's 1664-66 embassy to Spain. In this essay I argue that Ann Fanshawe's often dismissed diplomatic recollections should be read in the intertextual context of her husband's diplomatic correspondence. Richard's letters highlight the Spanish records as cornerstone of her work and illuminate Ann's strategic use of diplomatic discourse. Contributing not only to rehabilitating Richard's diplomatic career, such discourse also assists her to develop a politically critical voice and to undertake a daring self-fashioning as a diplomatic partner and as an author of an influential family narrative.


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