'The Splendour of Our Golden Age': The Duchess of Mazarin and Epicurean Voluptuousness in Late Stuart England

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James E. Evans, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Writing at the end of Queen Anne's reign, Theophilus Lucas profiled only one woman in “Memoirs of the Lives, Intrigues, and Comical Adventures of the Most Famous Gamesters” (1714), a scandal-filled account spanning fifty years after the Restoration: Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin. For most authors Mazarin epitomized the corruption of the Carolean court; for a few others her conduct signified the desires of an independent woman of taste. Their estimates of Mazarin parallel the period's discussion of voluptuousness, which I will describe as it was understood by proponents and critics alike to be a term with classical implications. For all, whatever their point of view, Mazarin embodied the kinds of dangerous or attractive manifestations of philosophical and "real life" voluptuousness that were associated both with Epicurean tranquility and libertine frenzy.

Additional Information

1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era Vol. 19
Language: English
Date: 2012
Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin, Epicureanism, Late Stuart Period, 17th Century England, English Restoration

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