Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Edward IV, The Woodvilles, and the Politics of Idealism, C. 1464-83
This thesis examines performance and propaganda in the reign of Edward IV and explores the ways in which Edward, his queen Elizabeth Woodville, and her brother Anthony sought to legitimize their newfound positions. It argues that all three sought to 'perform idealism' to bolster their claims to their respective positions, presenting themselves as close to the contemporary ideal figures of king, queen, and nobleman. This view makes Edward's marriage to Elizabeth a deliberate political act, rather than merely a marriage of love, as some have argued. This thesis argues that 'performing idealism' was thus a deliberate strategy deployed by individuals in a precarious social position to justify their privilege. It also examines chivalry and the Order of the Garter under Edward, his foreign policy, the patronage of William Caxton, and the education of Edward V to explore the many ways Edward sought to justify his claim to the throne. Author Keywords: Anthony Woodville, Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, England, Queenship, Wars of the Roses
Material Worlds of the Idle and the Industrious
This thesis explores middling reform-minded representations of plebeian children’s material worlds in England from 1720 to 1780. Specifically, it examines depictions of chattel and place in imagery of children, to convey messages aligned with the reform initiatives of the eighteenth century. Using the Old Bailey Proceedings, prints by William Hogarth, and novels, it argues that contemporary concerns about idleness, vagrancy, consumerism, and delinquency, were reflected in the way the middling sort conceived of plebeian childhood. Ultimately these representations of plebeian children followed two major narratives: industry or idleness. If poor children were not industrious, they were idle. The culture of reform targeted these children with initiatives to instruct and control them. The producers spread their middling ideologies through a range of visual, fictional, and legal productions, all of which framed plebeian children as dependent and in need of education or training. Author Keywords: Children, Eighteenth-century, England, Material History, Plebeian, representations

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