Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain
A Hardback edition by Nadine Akkerman in English (Jul 19, 2018)
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Short Description: It would be easy for the modern reader to conclude that women had no place in the world of early modern espionage, with a few seventeenth-century women spies identified and then... Read more
It would be easy for the modern reader to conclude that women had no place in the world of early modern espionage, with a few seventeenth-century women spies identified and then relegated to the footnotes of history. If even the espionage carried out by Susan Hyde, sister of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, during the turbulent decades of civil strife in Britain can escape the historiographer's gaze, then how many more like her lurk in the archives?
Nadine Akkerman's search for an answer to this question has led to the writing of She-Intelligencers, the very first study to analyse the role of early modern women spies, demonstrating that the allegedly-male world of the spy was more than merely infiltrated by women. This compelling and ground-breaking contribution to the history of espionage details a series of case studies in which women--from playwright to postmistress, from lady-in-waiting to laundry woman--acted as spies, sourcing and passing on confidential information on account of political and religious convictions or to obtain money or power.
The struggle of the She-Intelligencers to construct credibility in their own time is mirrored in their invisibility in modern historiography. Akkerman has immersed herself in archives, libraries, and private collections, transcribing hundreds of letters, breaking cipher codes and their keys, studying invisible inks, and interpreting riddles, acting as a modern-day Spymistress to unearth plots and conspiracies that have long remained hidden by history.
Invisible Agents Hardback edition by Nadine Akkerman
- Nadine Akkerman
- Oxford University Press
- Publication date
- Jul 19, 2018
- Product dimensions
- 158 x 245 x 26mm
Introduction: Invisible Agents, She-Intelligencers, or Spies Invisible by Birth 1. Ciphered Pillow Talk with Charles I in Prison, 1646-1649: 'intrigues, which at that time could be best managed and carried on by ladies' 2. The Credibility and Archival Silence of She-Intelligencers: Women on the Council of State's Payroll 3. Susan Hyde. a Spy's Gendered Fate Punishment: Hide and Seek the Sealed Knot 4.I Elizabeth Murray, Loyal Subject, Lover or Double Agent?: Rumour, Hearsay and the Sins of the Father 4.II Elizabeth Murray's Continental Foray: Incompetence, Invisible Inks, and Internal Wrangling 5. Elizabeth Carey, Lady Mordaunt: The 'Enigma' of the Great Trust 6. Anne, Lady Halkett's 'True Accountt': A Married Woman Is Never to Blame 7. Aphra Behn's Letters from Antwerp, July 1666-April 1667: Intelligence Reports or Epistolary Fiction?Epilogue: Invisibility and Blanck Marshall, the Nameless and Genderless Agent Bibliography Index