‘If you love me you will redeeme me’: Strategies of Childhood in Richard Frethorne’s Letters Home

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Abstract

This article utilises the four letters of Richard Frethorne, a child indentured servant sent to Virginia in 1622, to reconstruct how children expressed conceptions of childhood in the early modern period. As this article argues, in his letters home Richard used specific attributes of childhood in an attempt to have his indenture redeemed. Moving beyond the adult voices that have dominated discussions of early modern childhood, this article argues that early modern children recognised their various positions in society and were able to use their specific status as children to exert a degree of agency and autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural & Social History
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2020

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