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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: March ::
Elizabeth I and Autopsies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0105  Monday, 9 March 2009

[1]  From:   Claire Bowditch <
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      Date:   Saturday, 07 Mar 2009 17:57:15 +0000
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies

[2]  From:   Eric Johnson-DeBaufre <
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      Date:   Sunday, 8 Mar 2009 14:04:16 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Claire Bowditch <
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Date:      Saturday, 07 Mar 2009 17:57:15 +0000
Subject: 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies

 >I was once told about a text that apparently records that Elizabeth
 >I had an autopsy performed on (I think) one of her female attendants
 >who had died, in search of physical evidence imprinted on the dead
 >woman's heart that she had been in love. Can anyone identify a
 >source for this tale?


Dear Frank,

This source is referred to, and indeed quoted from, in Lesel Dawson, 
_Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature_ (Oxford: 
Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 16-17.

The accompanying footnote is very helpful and gives the details of the 
original source. A copy of the text is available on Google.

Hope that helps.
Best wishes
Claire Bowditch

Editor's Note: I'm glad to find another subscriber who has learned the 
useful joys of Google Books: 
http://books.google.com/books?id=2R4FVVm2ftEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Lovesickness+and+Gender+in+Early+Modern+English+Literature#PPA17,M1 
-Hardy]

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Eric Johnson-DeBaufre <
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 >
Date:      Sunday, 8 Mar 2009 14:04:16 -0400
Subject: 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.0100 Elizabeth I and Autopsies

Dear Professor Whigham,

The story you are referring to, I believe, occurs in a letter by Philip 
Gaudy written in 1600 regarding "Mistress Ratcliffe," one of the Queen's 
handmaidens. You can find a reference to this in Lesel Dawson's book 
_Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature_ (Oxford UP, 
2008).

The woman "Mistress Ratcliffe," otherwise known as was Margaret 
Radclyffe, and a fuller version of her story (as contained in Gaudy's 
letter) can be found here:

http://familytree.ratcliffs.net/rad12.htm

Best wishes,
Eric Johnson-DeBaufre


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