Elizabeth Hardwick's material negotiations

Jessica Malay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Throughout her life Bess engaged in a number of strategies to secure authority through her use of objects. In particular, her will exposes the relationships through which her communities formed, and her attempt to secure a continued authoritative presence in these beyond the grave. Death, as Bill Brown notes, provides objects with a hyper-presence that can reveal the social and psychological dynamics between human beings. This chapter draws upon Brown’s work on the dynamics inherent in the relationship between human beings and objects, as well as Bruno Latour’s theories of objects as actors in the formation of networks through which communities are created and sustained. The primary sources for this analysis are rich in both textual and material form and the chapter draws from Elizabeth Hardwick’s letters, her will and the wills of her circle, as well as the many objects associated with her that remain in existence today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBess of Hardwick
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives
EditorsLisa Hopkins
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781526101303
ISBN (Print)9781526101297
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019


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