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Lady Rachel Russell

"One of the Best of Women"

Lois G. Schwoerer

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Originally published in 1987. Lady Rachel Russell (1637–1723) was regarded as "one of the best women" by many of the most powerful people of her time. Wife of Lord William Russell, the prominent Whig opponent of King Charles II who was executed for treason in 1683, Lady Russell emerged as a political figure in her own right during the Glorious Revolution and throughout her forty-year widowhood. Award-winning historian Lois G. Schwoerer has written a biography that illuminates both the political life and the lives of women in late Stuart England. Lady Russell's interest in politics and religion…

Originally published in 1987. Lady Rachel Russell (1637–1723) was regarded as "one of the best women" by many of the most powerful people of her time. Wife of Lord William Russell, the prominent Whig opponent of King Charles II who was executed for treason in 1683, Lady Russell emerged as a political figure in her own right during the Glorious Revolution and throughout her forty-year widowhood. Award-winning historian Lois G. Schwoerer has written a biography that illuminates both the political life and the lives of women in late Stuart England. Lady Russell's interest in politics and religion blossomed during her marriage to Lord Russell and after his death: "as William became a Whig martyr, Rachel became a Whig saint." Her wealth, contacts, and role as her husband's surrogate gave her considerable influence to intercede in high government appointments, lend support in elections, and exchange favors with her friend Mary of Orange. In her domestic life she similarly took steps usually reserved to men, managing large estates in London and Hampshire and negotiating favorable marriage contracts for each of her three children. Although Lady Russell was unusual for her time, she was by no means unique. Other notable women shared her concerns and traits, although to differing degrees and effects. Schwoerer suggests that the horizons of women's lives in the seventeenth century may have extended farther than is often supposed.

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Lady Rachel Russell

Lois G. Schwoerer

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Schwoerer's biography of Lady Rachel Russell is well researched and is informative about the political scene in late 17th and early 18th century England.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
352
ISBN
9781421432236
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on Dating, Style, and Address
Introduction
Chapter 1. Background and Beginnings
Chapter 2. First Marriage, 1654–1667, to the Honorable Francis Vaughan
Chapter 3

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on Dating, Style, and Address
Introduction
Chapter 1. Background and Beginnings
Chapter 2. First Marriage, 1654–1667, to the Honorable Francis Vaughan
Chapter 3. Second Marriage, 1669, to the Honorable William Russell
Chapter 4. Domestic Life, 1669–1683
Chapter 5. Politics, 1673–1683
Chapter 6. Trial and Execution of Lord Russell, July 1683
Chapter 7. Widowhood, 1683–1688
Chapter 8. Prime Years, 1689–1702
Chapter 9. Declining Years and Death, 1702–1723
Appendix: The Family of Lady Rachel Russell
Abbreviations and Short Titles
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Lois G. Schwoerer

Lois G. Schwoerer is Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History Emeritus at the George Washington University. She is the author of The Declaration of Rights, 1689; Lady Rachel Russell: One of the Best of Women; and 'No Standing Armies', all published by Johns Hopkins.