Posted by Bethany Whalley, Marketing Executive
For the first time in four hundred years, H. L. Meakin’s interdisciplinary book The Painted Closet of Lady Anne Bacon Drury describes and explores Lady Anne’s fascinating miniature painted room in her Suffolk country house. Meakin received the Paul Mellon Centre Publication Grant and Author Grant for her examination of Lady Anne’s creation, an historically important but previously unstudied artefact that functioned in its day as part prayer-closet and part study. The author reads the painted panels in the context of early modern aesthetics and cultural production, as well as shedding light on the lady’s personal and social struggles and ambitions.
With 64 colour and 31 b&w illustrations, The Painted Closet of Lady Anne Bacon Drury tackles expressions of female subjectivity within a patriarchal society. Meakin argues that although Lady Anne was, significantly, Donne’s patron and niece of Sir Francis Bacon, she deserves to be remembered in her own right as an intellectual equal who provided us with a creation that allows a window into the mind and habits of an early modern Englishwoman in a world of men.
About the Author: H. L. Meakin received her doctorate from the University of Oxford and is the author of John Donne’s Articulations of the Feminine. She now teaches English Literature at the University of South Florida.