The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors

By Alan Hager | Go to book overview

Mary, Lady Chudleigh
(1656-1710)

AMY WOLF


BIOGRAPHY

Mary, Lady Chudleigh's personal life is largely portrayed as deeply unhappy because her often bitter writing ends up being taken for the record of her life in the absence of much biographical fact. Verses like “To the Ladies” seem to expose dissatisfaction with her marriage, the essay “Of Grief” and some of her poetry mournfully express her grief over the death of her eight-year-old daughter Eliza Maria, and her physical suffering from rheumatism is delineated in the few letters to friends left behind. Chudleigh was born Mary Lee on August 19, 1656, in Devonshire and married George Chudleigh, later a baronet, in 1674. Little is known about Chudleigh's childhood or her marriage. She and her husband had six children, but only two sons survived childhood, and the death of Eliza Maria, one of two daughters, was especially agonizing. Lady Chudleigh was well versed in the philosophical and scientific debates of her time; she read the classics in translation, philosophy, history, science, and literature and celebrated the life of the mind.

Like many writers of her time, Lady Chudleigh circulated her work among family and friends for years before it was formally published. Her first published piece, The Ladies Defence, was written in 1701 as a response to a sermon by John Sprint on “Conjugal Duty.” Sprint's sermon advocated utter obedience on the part of wives in decidedly misogynistic tones. Chudleigh's response, in the form of a poetic dialogue, was envisioned by her “as a Satyr on vice, and not, as some have maliciously reported, for an Invective on Marriage.” The Ladies Defence established her as a devotee of Mary Astell, the writer and advocate for women's education, whom Chudleigh greatly admired. Lady Chudleigh's collected Poems on Several Occasions (1703) appeared a few years later and included “To the Ladies, ” her most anthologized poem; poems addressed to female friends and fellow writers (“To Almystrea, ” “To Clorissa, ” etc.); and several poems celebrating the retired intellectual life with which she would long be associated. Chudleigh's last book, Essays Upon Several Subjects (1710), appeared

-78-

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The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Timeline of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors xvii
  • (1672-1719) 1
  • (1555-1626) 6
  • (1666-1731) 10
  • (1626-1697) 14
  • (1561-1626) 19
  • Bibliography 23
  • (1640?-1689) 25
  • (1649-1708) 29
  • (1627-1691) 32
  • Bibliography 38
  • (1612-1672) 39
  • Bibliography 41
  • (1605-1682) 42
  • Bibliography 47
  • (1628-1688) 48
  • (1577-1640) 53
  • (1612/1613-1680) 57
  • Bibliography 60
  • (1567-1620) 61
  • Bibliography 64
  • (C. 1595-1639) 65
  • (C. 1585-1639) 68
  • (1623-1673) 71
  • Bibliography 73
  • (1559?-1634) 74
  • (1656-1710) 78
  • Bibliography 80
  • (1613-1658) 81
  • (1653-1713) 85
  • (1618-1667) 89
  • Bibliography 92
  • (C. 1613-1649) 93
  • Bibliography 96
  • (1599-1658) 98
  • (1606-1668) 103
  • (1658-1734) 109
  • Bibliography 111
  • (1572-1631) 112
  • (1563-1631) 118
  • Bibliography 121
  • (1631-1700) 122
  • (1608-1666) 128
  • (1661-1720) 133
  • Bibliography 136
  • (1582-1650) 137
  • (1586-1639?) 139
  • (1563-1639 and 1593-1652/1653) 144
  • Bibliography 146
  • (1554-1628) 147
  • Bibliography 157
  • (1578-1657) 158
  • (1593-1633) 162
  • (1591-1674) 167
  • (1588-1679) 172
  • (1572/1573-1637) 181
  • (1660-1685) 187
  • (1666-1727) 191
  • (C. 1634-1693) 194
  • (1569?-1645) 198
  • (1615-1657) 202
  • Bibliography 205
  • (1632-1704) 206
  • (1618-1657) 216
  • Bibliography 218
  • (1672?-1724) 219
  • Bibliography 222
  • (1621-1678) 223
  • Bibliography 226
  • (1583-1640) 228
  • Bibliography 231
  • (1580-1627) 232
  • (1608-1674) 237
  • (1652-1685) 244
  • (1633-1703) 248
  • (1632-1694) 253
  • Bibliography 258
  • (1659-1695) 260
  • Bibliography 265
  • (1686-1758) 267
  • (1606-1669) 270
  • Bibliography 273
  • (1647-1680) 274
  • (C. 1637-1711) 280
  • (1577-1640) 283
  • (C. 1642-1692) 287
  • (1671-1713) 292
  • (1564-1616) 296
  • (1632-1677) 312
  • (1608/1609-1642) 316
  • (1652-1715) 320
  • Bibliography 323
  • (1578-1653) 324
  • (1575?-1626) 328
  • (1636?-1674) 332
  • (1599-1641) 336
  • Bibliography 339
  • (1621?-1695) 340
  • (1599-1660) 344
  • (1632-1675) 348
  • (1606-1687) 352
  • Bibliography 354
  • (1579?-1633?) 355
  • (1568-1635) 360
  • (1641-1715) 365
  • List of Authors by Birth Year 373
  • Selected General Bibliography 377
  • Index 379
  • About the Editor and Contributors 389
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