The next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2016-2017 series will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Rosenwald Room (LJ 205), 2nd floor, Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Dr. David Norbrook will deliver a paper titled “I write not for the presse to boast my own weaknesses to the world”: Lucy Hutchinson and the Restoration Public Sphere’.
Lucy Hutchinson (1620-81) is best known for Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, a vivid personal and political narrative from the 1630s down to her republican husband’s death in prison in 1664. This work, and many other less-known writings by her, remained amongst family papers and did not find their way into print. How far was this a matter of deferring to a traditionally private female sphere; how far should these be considered as ‘underground’ writings responding to the fate of the English Revolution’s print culture with the heightened censorship of radical and republican writings after 1660; how far did ‘household publication’ in manuscript itself represent a significant facet of Independent culture? With Hutchinson as my main example, I shall open up questions of gender, print and manuscript, and the public sphere.
David Norbrook is Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford. His publications include Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance (1984), Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627-1660 (1999), Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘Order and Disorder’ (2001) and Lucretius and the Early Modern (ed. with Philip Hardie and Stephen Harrison, 2015). He is General Editor of the Oxford University Press edition of the works of Lucy Hutchinson, whose first volume, The Translation of Lucretius, ed. with Reid Barbour, appeared in 2012; vol. 2, Theological Writings and Translations, will appear next year.