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Andreley Bjelland Graduate Lecture: “A Corasie and a Scandal to the World”: Childhood, Inheritance, and Legacy in Early Modern Domestic Crime”

March 20 @ 4:00 pm

Our penultimate Graduate Lecture Series event of the school year!

“Early modern literature is rife with concern about the influence of parentage, education, and environment on a child’s nature. Questions of children’s moral inheritance appear in domestic tragedy plays, chronicles, and mothers’ legacies. These texts express early modern anxieties about children’s behavior as influenced by their mother, especially when that mother has exhibited violent or immoral misbehavior herself.

In this lecture, [Bjelland considers] this anxiety in the light of the potential reformation of children, with a specific focus on the 1599 play A Warning for Fair Women, based on the 1573 murder of George Sanders, a London merchant. The son of George Sanders, called Young Sanders in the play, operates as the ideal example of a child with a criminal parent – his own mother was executed as an accomplice in his father’s murder. Although only a child, reading the stage appearances of Young Sanders through the lens of an early modern understandings of inheritance and nature suggests that Young Sanders has developed a crucial lack of awareness when it comes to right and wrong.

Understanding Young Sanders’s role highlights early modern notions of innocence, guilt, salvation, and damnation, helping to determine who was destined for good or bad, and if there was any room for change. In turn, this offers a consideration of the ways in which family members of criminals could or could not move through society following the condemnation of their criminal relatives – something that still echoes across society today.”

Event is certified for CLE credit. Pizza and soda will be available!



March 20
4:00 pm




Greenlaw 225