Women, Friendship, and Memory
Princess Elizabeth’s letter to her first cousin Katherine Carey Lady Knollys dates from 1553.2 Later she would write in similarly affectionate terms to women such as Frances Howard Countess of Hertford (“Good ffrancke”) and Margery Williams Lady Norris (“Mine owne Crow”)—letters intended to set the minds of her correspondents at rest, to reaffirm her royal favor.3 This early letter, however, is an unequivocal promise of favor to come when things must have seemed very bleak indeed: the princess, the terrified focus of opposition to Queen Mary; and Knollys and her husband, like other wealthy Protestants unwilling to conform, hurrying to take their family into exile on the Continent. And once she was queen, Elizabeth’s memory of their friendship was indeed to determine Lady Knollys’ success, for she became a senior lady of the privy chamber until her death in 1569, the mother of three ladies of the privy chamber, and the woman who put the Knollys family on the political map.
KeywordsMarried Woman Family Friend Classical Philosopher Reciprocal Friendship Mine Owne
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- 4.Alan Bray, The Friend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 11;Google Scholar
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