“But not laughing”: horsemanship and the idea of the cavalier in the writings of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle
The Seventeenth Century
Informa UK Limited
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Chalmers, H. (2017). “But not laughing”: horsemanship and the idea of the cavalier in the writings of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle. The Seventeenth Century, 32 (4) https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117x.2017.1394113
This article examines William Cavendish’s two treatises on horsemanship printed in 1658 and 1667, respectively. It argues that a close reading of these works in their discursive and iconographic contexts reveals their engagement with a markedly unstable idea of the cavalier as horseman during this period and evinces a far greater degree of self-conscious anxiety concerning questions of governance than previous critics have acknowledged. In particular, it explores Newcastle’s grappling with notions of the cavalier as frivolous man of pleasure and as a figure of monstrosity, conceived of in terms of a troubling hybridity with his horse. This leads to a specific consideration of the ambivalent role played by the figure of the centaur in Newcastle’s equestrian writings, a figure whose contradictory antecedents are played out in its recurrence in the contemporary literature of political controversy.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117x.2017.1394113
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286627