Thesis Title

The King's Brown Daughter

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jacinda Gides


The King's Brown Daughter is a revision of the King Lear story from the first-person perspective of his daughter, Cordelia, or Elia as I have renamed her. In the most famous version of this story, Shakespeare's "King Lear", we see very little of Cordelia, and what we do see either gives us the impression that she was a holy martyr or a helpless victim. There are other versions of the King Lear story, however, and in most of these versions, Cordelia is anything but a victim. In several old versions of the tale, Cordelia survives her sister's treasonous plot and goes on to rule Britain. My intent with this novel is not to show that Shakespeare was wrong to portray Cordelia as he did, but to demonstrate that it is possible to see her in another light. My Cordelia is a strong, independent woman who is conflicted by her father's betrayal and struggles with the choice between abandoning him to his fate or returning to the kind that exiled her. In my opinion, this makes her more believable, and more human.


Cordelia, Shakespeare, Celtic civilization, revision, fiction

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


© Camille Delaurier