“Mistaking Earth for Heaven”: Eliza Linley’s Voice
Joseph R. Roach, Yale University
Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, nee Elizabeth Linley (1754-92) traded her celebrated voice for the eloquence of silence. Forbidden at the height of her career to sing in public, Linley found a poetic “voice” in the creation of her public persona as “The Saint.” Like Philomela, she wove the story of her violation into a cloak of demure publicity, and her success–projecting her image through the portraits of Gainsborough and Reynolds and in her own poetry–is a modern parable of public relations in adversity.
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