cover of book

The Letters of the First Duchess of Ormonde
edited by Naomi McAreavey
by Elizabeth Butler
Iter Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-64959-019-0 | Cloth: 978-1-64959-018-3
Library of Congress Classification DA940.5.O69O76 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 941.706092

This volume is the first to bring together the entire extant correspondence of one of the most significant women in early modern Ireland, Elizabeth Butler, first Duchess of Ormonde. She was the wife of James Butler, twelfth Earl and first Duke of Ormonde, who, as Ireland’s only duke and three times its lord lieutenant, was a figure of considerable importance in seventeenth-century Ireland. But far from being overshadowed by her powerful husband, Butler was a person of significant power and influence in her own right. Descended from the tenth Earl of Ormonde, she brought a hefty portion of the Ormonde estate to the marriage. As Countess, Marchioness, then Duchess of Ormonde, as well as three times vicereine and a high-status courtier, she sat at the pinnacle of Irish and English society, unmatched by any other Irish woman of the period in terms of her wealth, social standing, and power. Her surviving correspondence reveals her importance within the Ormonde-Butler family and in the social, cultural, and political life of seventeenth-century Ireland.

The volume comprises more than three hundred letters written by Ormonde to her husband and family, agents and servants, and friends and clients. Spanning six decades, these letters are meticulously transcribed, edited, and annotated, and the volume includes a substantial scholarly introduction, family trees, a glossary, and other resources.

See other books on: Correspondence | Ireland | Letters | Nobility | Stuart Era (1603-1714)
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