The Anne Clifford  project, led by Prof. Jessica L. Malay explores the life and work of this remarkable early modern woman.  Please follow the links in the left panel for further information about the project, the researchers, project activities and events, and opportunities for participation.

This project will make widely available the Anne Clifford’s Great Books of Record, providing the opportunity for greater debate, exploration, analysis and invention concerning the works of Anne Clifford specifically, as well as the wider culture in which the books were produced.

This project is now complete and has been published by Manchester University Press:

http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9780719091872

The Anne Clifford Letters

Anne Clifford’s letters, at present unpublished and spread across the UK in a number of archives, provide insight into the network of relationships in which this powerful woman was embedded.  They provide a first hand view into the events that shaped her life. Here we learn of the strategies that she and her mother considered as they engaged in the battle for the Clifford inheritance, and later the political machinations of Anne Clifford and her daughter as they sought to place Anne Clifford’s grandson in parliament against strong institutional opposition.  During the fraught years at the end of the 1650s we follow her attempts to protect her rights against both governmental and local opposition. We can trace Anne Clifford’s affectionate relationship with her many grandchildren and experience the many joys and the great grief that were part of these important relationships. We learn of Anne Clifford’s business acumen and the way in which she enforced her nearly autonomous political control in Westmorland. We get a sense in these letters of her wide ranging relationships with leading families as well as more humble individuals.  Her relationship with leading scholars of the day are also revealed.  The letters fill the gaps found in Anne Clifford’s autobiographical writing and will provide scholars with not only a wealth of information on this important northern woman, but also early modern culture more widely.  The Anne Clifford Project will produce an edited collection of these letters which will appear in 2019.

Anne Clifford's Autobiographies

Work on the Great Books  project has uncovered new autobiographical material and additional manuscript copies of her known work. This new material will for the basis of a complete edition of Anne Clifford’s autobiographical writing. This work will produce a complete edition of Anne Clifford’s autobiographies and will be published in 2017. This project is supported by the award of awarded an MHRA Research Associateship.  Dr Mary Chadwick holds this position.

Anne Clifford’s Great Books: A Transformative Narrative of Identity and Place

Prof Jessica Malay, an expert in Renaissance literature within the School of Music, Humanities and Media at Huddersfield, was awarded Leverhulme Project Grant of £156,274 in 2010 that allowed her to carry out an investigation of Lady Anne Clifford’s Great Books of Record.  During her long life Clifford fought for her right to inherit family lands, endured two unhappy marriages, rebuilt a series of castles, churches and other buildings in an area ravaged by civil war.

This project is now complete with the publication of:

Anne Clifford’s Great Books of RecordsEd. Jessica L. Malay. Manchester:  Manchester University Press, 2015.

The launch of the Great Books was held at Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield on 16 July 2015

See Also

Constructing a Narrative of Time and Place: Anne Clifford’s Great Books of Record. Review of English Studies (May 2015) doi: 10.1093/res/hgv035

Positioning Patronage: Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judæorum and the Countess of Cumberland in Time and Place’. The Seventeenth Century 28.3 (2013) 251-274.

The Marrying of Anne Clifford: Marriage Strategy in the Clifford Inheritance Dispute’. Northern History 159.2 (2012) 251-264.

About the project

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Key Stage 2 Activity pack

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Useful Links

Anne Clifford brochure

The Anne Clifford Great Books Project has no formal connection with, or influence over the content of, any other websites, but information about the world of the Anne Clifford, and links to other sites of interest, may be found on the following websites:

www.abbothall.org.uk
Abbot Hall Art Gallery is the home of Anne Clifford’s Great Picture. They also exhibit other portraits of Anne Clifford and her contemporaries.

www.cumbria.gov.uk

A large collection of Anne Clifford related material is held by the Cumbria Archives Service, including the three sets of Anne Clifford’s Great Books of Record.

www.skiptoncastle.co.uk

Anne Clifford’s letters, at present unpublished and spread across the UK in a number of archives, provide insight into the network of relationships in which this powerful woman was embedded.  They provide a first hand view into the events that shaped her life. Here we learn of the strategies that she and her mother considered as they engaged in the battle for the Clifford inheritance, and later the political machinations of Anne Clifford and her daughter as they sought to place Anne Clifford’s grandson in parliament against strong institutional opposition.  During the fraught years at the end of the 1650s we follow her attempts to protect her rights against both governmental and local opposition. We can trace Anne Clifford’s affectionate relationship with her many grandchildren and experience the many joys and the great grief that were part of these important relationships. We learn of Anne Clifford’s business acumen and the way in which she enforced her nearly autonomous political control in Westmorland. We get a sense in these letters of her wide ranging relationships with leading families as well as more humble individuals.  Her relationship with leading scholars of the day are also revealed.  The letters fill the gaps found in Anne Clifford’s autobiographical writing and will provide scholars with not only a wealth of information on this important northern woman, but also early modern culture more widely.  The Anne Clifford Project will produce an edited collection of these letters which will appear in 2019.