Tim Stretton Lecture: Usury, Equity and Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice"

Oct 10, 2013
4:30 PM
Gates-Hillman 4215

The Pittsburgh Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies presents Tim Stretton, Professor of History at St. Mary¿s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scholars seeking legal contexts for The Merchant of Venice often focus on Elizabethan concerns about the evils of charging interest on loans and the rivalry between English common law and equity. In this lecture, Dr. Stretton questions both of these associations by examining litigation patterns from the time and suggests alternative social and economic, rather than legal, developments that gave the play its topicality.

Dr. Stretton specializes in the social history of law and litigation in Britain, with a focus on the legal rights and experiences of women, and in the intersections between law and literature in early modern England. His book, Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England (Cambridge University Press, 1998) uses legal sources, literary texts, and the records of the Court of Requests to examine how female litigants used the law, as well as fell victim to it. He is currently researching the history of coverture (the legal condition of married women) from the 16th century through to the early 20th century.

Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University.

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Allyson Creasman

Last modified: Sep 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM EDT
Date created: Sep 6, 2013