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Through the Looking Glass: A Glimpse into the Private Lives of Women in England, 1650-1750

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What is known about the lives, and especially the private lives, of English women in the early modern era is not at all satisfactory in terms of sources, scope, or understanding. Because the act of writing and reading was already

What is known about the lives, and especially the private lives, of English women in the early modern era is not at all satisfactory in terms of sources, scope, or understanding. Because the act of writing and reading was already exclusive to the upper classes, what sources do survive are not representative of the majority of the female population, leading to more speculation on behalf of historians. The sources which do survive, by and large focus on the role of religion and spirituality in a woman's life, since it was the most acceptable reason for an early modern woman to be writing about. However, I hoped to prove how women were interested in more than just self-improvement through religious devotion, thereby demonstrating that early modern English women were as complex and rich in personality and interests as a modern woman might consider herself to be. After a brief introduction and explanation of the research process, this project then begins to individually analyze the three women who were chosen for study based on their mutual practice of keeping a diary during their lives in early modern England. These women were Elizabeth Freke, Lady Sarah Cowper, and Mary, Countess Cowper, all of whom operated within the feminine social hierarchy during this period, but each of whom demonstrated a particular interest beyond that of marriage and family, including economics, religion, and politics. I believe that each woman analyzed proved how unique and varied the lives of early modern English women were through their writings.

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2016-05

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Runic Literacy in Anglo-Saxon England

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This paper argues that the Anglo-Saxons were runic-literate. Although there is scant runic evidence, conclusions are based largely upon an initial learning paradigm (although it is unclear what this paradigm might have been), and the subsequent transmission of runic knowledge

This paper argues that the Anglo-Saxons were runic-literate. Although there is scant runic evidence, conclusions are based largely upon an initial learning paradigm (although it is unclear what this paradigm might have been), and the subsequent transmission of runic knowledge orally. Runic evidence includes Cynewulf's poem, the Old English Rune Poem, the Falstone Text, the Coffin of St. Cuthbert, and the Franks Casket. Missionary work and the syncretic approach of the Church is also examined in order to shed light on runic literacy, as well as how a reformation of the futhorc (if it did occur) impacted runic literacy. The state of runic knowledge across the entire Anglo-Saxon period is also considered, since there was, by no means, an overwhelming runic literacy for the entire 500 years under examination. Nevertheless, there is evidence of a consistent knowledge of the runes, which precludes any possibility that runic knowledge was completely lost during this period. The Ruthwell Cross is examined, since it raises an argument against a widespread runic literacy. With all of this evidence in one place, and in no particular order, we can see that it was very probable that the Anglo-Saxons, lay and elite alike, were runic-literate.

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2016-05

ROB ROY AND THE EXPLORATION OF CULTURAL IDENTITY: THE SOCIOPOLITICAL RELATIONSHIP OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND ACCORDING TO SIR WALTER SCOTT

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The interaction between England and Scotland is complicated and continually changing. Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott examines this long-standing relationship through his various writings. Scott conveys a presence that is both acutely aware of the damages enacted upon Scotland by

The interaction between England and Scotland is complicated and continually changing. Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott examines this long-standing relationship through his various writings. Scott conveys a presence that is both acutely aware of the damages enacted upon Scotland by various English political efforts, and sensitive to the delicate relationship that the two regions had begun to form during his lifetime. Through a critical analysis of Scott's novel, Rob Roy, one can see the various strategies Scott used to balance the need to address prior controversies within the relationship, and the petition to move beyond the prior conflict and develop a mutual understanding of each culture. Through this, Scott is able to regenerate a sense of Scottish nationalism for his people, and encourage improved relations within the British Isles.

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2013-05