Mary Carleton, commonly known as the German Princess, was a scandalous celebrity in Restoration London. Her notoriety arose from her 1663 trial and acquittal for bigamy, which became the occasion of the publication of The Case of Madam Mary Carleton. Here she narrates her version of her life as a 'German Princess', the daughter of the Earl of Cologne, though by most accounts she was born Mary Moders, the daughter of a Canterbury fiddler who married first a Canterbury shoemaker, Thomas Steadman, and then a surgeon, Thomas Day. Within her own time, Carleton was the subject of more than twenty-six pamphlets published in 1663 and 1673; this volume reprints Carleton's own The Case of Madam Mary Carleton along with representative selections of pamphlets written about her. Her trial produced its own 'pamphlet war' between Mary and her husband John and her story inspired a play and a mock epic, which significantly responded to Carleton's own emphasis on performance and epic romance in fashioning her aristocratic identity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)