1. What does the Duchess state are her reasons for writing her autobiography? Can you think of other reasons she may have had?
  2. Of what things does she seem most proud? What seems her attitude toward her family and upbringing?
  3. What are some unusual features of her background and family unit? Do her observations show evidence of biases of rank?
  4. Why do you think this woman, of all 17th century women, chose to write such an introspective memoir? What were some unusual features of her experience and character?
  5. What seem to be her political views?
  6. Which features of her life and character do you think may have been affected by conventions for women at the time?
  7. About which of her actions does she seem defensive or ambivalent?
  8. Does she admire different qualities in men and in women? Does she make any comments on the role of women?
  9. What are her attitudes toward marriage and her husband? What seems to have been their relationship?
  10. What may have been some of the causes of her great interest in fame?
  11. Wht types of things does she seem to hate or contemn above all others?
  12. Do you find her final self-characterizations reasonable or consistent?
  13. What does she say about her methd of writing? What are feaures of its style?
  14. What does she mean by "meancholy"?
  15. Do you feel the True Relation is a unified work?
  16. At the end of the memoir, do you believe that you understand the Duchess?
  17. How might the Duchess of Newcastle's life or memoirs have been different had she lived in the twenty-first century?