Representing Elizabeth in Stuart England: Literature, History, Sovereignty

Representing Elizabeth in Stuart England: Literature, History, Sovereignty

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John Watkins
Cambridge University Press, 8/8/2002
EAN 9780521815734, ISBN10: 0521815738

Hardcover, 278 pages, 23.6 x 16 x 2.1 cm
Language: English

This is the first book to examine Elizabeth I's lasting impact on the Anglo-American historical imagination. John Watkins attributes her abiding popularity to her iconic role in seventeenth-century debates over the nature of sovereignty. Watkins focuses on England's most turbulent century because it witnessed the consolidation of enduring attitudes toward both the Tudor past and the English monarchy. He explains that seventeenth-century representations of Elizabeth intersected with the period's wider debate over the sovereign's relationship to the people. He goes on to trace the development of Elizabeth's iconic significance as the century moves on; the stories of Princess Elizabeth's sufferings under Mary Tudor, or of her secret longings for Essex eventually figured more prominently in the popular imagination than records of her relationships with Parliament. By the early eighteenth century Elizabeth had acquired a new value as a model of the tragic individual pitted against a hostile social order.

List of illustrations
1. James I and the fictions of Elizabeth's motherhood
2. The Queen of royal citizens
Elizabeth in Thomas Heywood's historical imagination
3. Arcana Reginae
Tacitean Narrations of the Elizabethan past
4. Recollections of Elizabeth during the civil wars and interregnum
5. Restoration Elizabeth
6. 'Under the name of a Vergin or Maiden Queen'
7. Gloriana's Secrets
the restoration invention of Elizabeth's private life
8. After the revolution
Gloriana in late Stuart England

'Watkins emerges here as a literary scholar with an expansive knowledge of both Tudor and Stuart history and their attendant political nuances. Representing Elizabeth in Stuart England constitutes an excellent resource not only for scholars, but also for students. Reading this book, one is immediately aware of being in the capable hands not only of an excellent scholar, but also of a stellar lecturer. The argument is consistently lucid, rendering this work valuable for not only the scholarly library, but equally for the classroom, a rare and commendable accomplishment.' H-Albion '... excellent and timely book ...' Notes and Queries 'This is a book that will have a wide impact in literary studies; but it will also have to be read by historians of the period.' Studies in English Language 'John Watkins' book is both a timely and welcome addition ... Watkins' interdisciplinary approach to his study will make this work attractive to early modern scholars across the curriculum.' Albion '... fine monograph ... this is a careful, provocative, and intelligent book ...'. Renaissance Quarterly 'In this pleasant, well-constructed investigation, the author traces step by step the evolution of her afterlife reputation ... Watkins' chronological approach allows him to unravel deftly the intricacies of political and religious conflicts.' Cahiers Elisabethains 'Professor Watkins has produced a study that hopefully will inspire other scholars to see the seemingly unending impact of Elizabeth I upon the generations born after 1603.' Seventeenth Century Journal '... luminous and intricate study ... Representing Elizabeth is lively, layered, and very learned, as intensely engaged with current discussions about Stuart sexual politics and theories of nostalgia as with period debates about the prerogatives of kings.' Modern Philology