Channelling Catholicism through Translation: Women and French Recusant Literature around the Court of Queen Henrietta Maria (1625-42)

Marie-France Guénette


At the English court of Queen consort Henrietta Maria (1625-42), women played important roles in the translation and circulation of French Catholic materials. Translations of recusant literature dedicated to the queen included the works of women, such as Elizabeth Cary’s The Reply and Susan Du Verger’s Admirable events. Whether as patrons, dedicatees, intended readers, translators or printers, women contributed to the dissemination of recusant writings and the advancement of Catholic culture under King Charles I’s Anglican rule. This article explores the agentic strategies employed by women as demonstrated in a corpus of recusant literature which was translated from French to English and meant to circulate at the queen’s court and among the English Catholic elite. I investigate textual and paratextual strategies deployed in translated works as markers of a complex transnational/networked Catholic identity in Caroline England.

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