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Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland$
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Marie-Louise Coolahan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567652.001.0001

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1641 Depositions

1641 Depositions

Chapter:
(p.141) 4 1641 Depositions
Source:
Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland
Author(s):

Marie‐Louise Coolahan (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567652.003.0005

This chapter examines the depositions collected from protestant women who were victims of the 1641 rising. These are controversial historical sources; this discussion interprets them from a literary perspective. This chapter investigates the mechanisms of textual production, analysing the process of composition from oral delivery through to written record. Speech permeates these texts; orally delivered and preoccupied with reportage, they uncover the realities of linguistic hybridity on the island. The depositions also served as the repository for, and stimulus to, different genres of writing. The siege‐letters of Lettice, Baroness Offaly, and the first‐person memoir of Lady Elizabeth Dowdall display the value of feminine discourses of innocence and vulnerability to the construction of belligerent resistance. These writers counter representations of female victimhood in the depositions themselves.

Keywords:   depositions, 1641 rising, speech, victimhood, siege, language, Elizabeth Dowdall, Lettice Fitzgerald

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