Title

Maternal Memory and Murder in Early-Seventeenth-Century England

Department

English

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2008

Abstract

This article argues that the depiction of murderous mothers in three early-seventeenth-century texts both contests and expands earlier notions of motherhood and female power by highlighting the effects of maternal memory. The pamphlet (1616) and broadside (1624) I examine both stress the disruptive potential of the forgetting of maternal duty, while the play, John Ford's Love's Sacrifice (1633), represents three mothers who remember their maternal duties through murder. All of these texts showcase a "new" mother construct where memory is the centerpiece, emphasizing the power of this ambiguous figure who can both create and destroy.

Journal

Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

Journal ISSN

0585-668X

Volume

48

Issue

1

First Page

111

Last Page

130

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1353/sel.2008.0003