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Flesh and SpiritAn anthology of seventeenth-century women's writing$
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Rachel Adcock, Sara Read, and Anna Ziomek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090233

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090233.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Lady Elizabeth Delaval

Lady Elizabeth Delaval

(p.197) 8 Lady Elizabeth Delaval
Flesh and Spirit

Rachel Adcock

Sara Read

Anna Ziomek

Manchester University Press

This chapter comprises an introduction to the autobiographical meditations and prayers written by Lady Elizabeth Delaval (1649-1717), selected reading, and extracts from these manuscript writings. Written between 1663 and 1672, her meditations explored the relationship between her inconsistent religious obedience and her physical condition. Delaval was a Royalist and as such a staunch Anglican, but remained convinced she was led from a pious path by those around her, including her Presbyterian lady's maid and companion. She wrote about her toothache (and experiencing the unpleasant sensation of tooth worms); her cure at the hands of an itinerant woman healer whom she thought was providentially supplied by God; her experience of being tempted by the Devil to eat too much fruit and other ‘dainties’ which led to illnesses which she ascribed to a humoral imbalance; and also reflected on large-scale epidemics including outbreaks of plague in the 1660s.

Keywords:   Humoral theory, Toothache, Meditation, Plague, Autobiography, Anglicanism, Illness

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