Download A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the 2nd Earl of by Cynthia B. Herrup PDF

By Cynthia B. Herrup

Intercourse, privilege, corruption, and revenge--these are parts that we think to discover splashed throughout contemporary tabloid headlines. yet in seventeenth century England, a intercourse scandal within which the second Earl of Castlehaven used to be done for crimes so terrible that "a Christian guy ought scarce to call them" threatened the very foundations of aristocratic hierarchy. In a home in Gross disease, Cynthia Herrup offers a strikingly new interpretation either one of the case itself and of the sexual and social anxieties it solid into such daring aid. Castlehaven used to be convicted of abetting the rape of his spouse and of committing sodomy together with his servants. greater than that, he stood accused of inverting the common order of his family through reveling in instead of restraining the intemperate passions of these he was once anticipated to rule and guard. Herrup argues that simply because an orderly condominium used to be thought of either an instance and endorsement of aristocratic governance, the riotousness presided over via Castlehaven was once the main damning facts opposed to him. Castlehaven himself argued that he used to be the sufferer of an impatient son, an unsatisfied spouse, and courtiers grasping for his lands. Eschewing basic conclusions approximately guilt or innocence, Herrup focuses in its place at the interesting felony, social and political dynamics of the case and its next retellings. In prose as riveting because the ethical and felony dramas it depicts, a home in Gross disease reconsiders a scandal that also speaks to modern anxieties approximately intercourse, stable governance, and the position of legislations in regulating either.

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Extra resources for A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven

Sample text

They embodied an immoderation that was as destructive as it was enticing, and it was that excess, not specific acts, that so endangered society. To prosecute someone successfully for rape or sodomy meant proving not only a particular form of carnal knowledge, but also the insidious infection for which these acts were but a symptom. PREPARATIONS: BUILDING A CASE The legal difficulties of the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven began late in October 1630, when Lord Audley complained about his father to the Privy Council.

Laud was one of the King’s few confidantes; the other men occupied four of the most important offices of state. They were joined at the beginning and the conclusion of the investigation by Sir Nicholas Hyde, the Lord Chief Justice. Probably none of these men were strangers to either the Stanley or the Touchet families, and the prior connections that we can 40 A House in Gross Disorder document would not have reassured the Earl. Manchester and Coventry were allies of the Countess of Castlehaven’s mother, the Dowager Countess of Derby.

Castlehaven had an Irish earldom, Irish properties, Irish relatives, and Irish servants. In truth, Castlehaven’s ties to any particular religion or cultural identity seem to have been tenuous. But assertive obscurity could have juridical implications. For many early modern English Protestants, Catholicism and Irishness were the negatives against which they defined their own integrity. The negative associations were there to be exploited, and the history of the Earl’s life made them difficult, perhaps impossible, to contravene.

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