Cherished Torment: The Emotional Geography of Lady Mary Wroth's Urania

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Duquesne University Press, Jan 1, 2001 - Literary Collections - 287 pages
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Cherished Torment offers the first detailed account of the intellectual foundation of the first prose romance published by a woman in English: The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, written by Lady Mary Wroth, the niece of Sir Philip Sidney. Part one, printed in 1621, prompted an intense outcry due to Lady Mary Wroth's thinly veiled representation of actual events in the lives of prominent families. It was not republished until 1995. The remainder of Urania, published in 2000, marks the first opportunity for most readers to experience this 600,000-word romance firsthand. The Urania's lengthy text may initially appear daunting, but Cavanagh argues that the romance rewards its readers with a richly textured narrative that artfully engages with numerous aesthetic, literary and intellectual concerns from the early seventeenth century, including race relations, tensions between Christianity and the occult, global expansion and the composition of the universe. A sophisticated and erudite study, Cherished Torment moves beyond the intriguing and scandalous events of Wroth's personal life that have understandably captivated the attention of many modern readers to a closer look at the latter's masterful integration of the issues fueling her era's political, scientific and philosophical debates. Cavanagh's important study will enable readers to better recognize and appreciate Urania's intellectual heritage.

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Geography Religion and Identity
None Can Run So Far That Shall
Natural Workes and Effects

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About the author (2001)

Sheila Cavanagh is Associate Professor of English and associated faculty in Women's Studies and Violence Studies at Emory University.

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