The volume explores Elizabeth I's impact on English and European culture during her life and after her death, through her own writing as well as through contemporary and later writers. The contributors are codicologists, historians and literary critics, offering a varied reading of the Queen and of her cultural inheritance.
Language, Power and Representation in Early Modern England
Author: Donatella Montini
This collection investigates Queen Elizabeth I as an accomplished writer in her own right as well as the subject of authors who celebrated her. With innovative essays from Brenda M. Hosington, Carole Levin, and other established and emerging experts, it reappraises Elizabeth’s translations, letters, poems and prayers through a diverse range of approaches to textuality, from linguistic and philological to literary and cultural-historical. The book also considers Elizabeth as “authored,” studying how she is reflected in the writing of her contemporaries and reconstructing a wider web of relations between the public and private use of language in early modern culture. Contributions from Carlo M. Bajetta, Guillaume Coatelen and Giovanni Iamartino bring the Queen’s presence in early modern Italian literary culture to the fore. Together, these essays illuminate the Queen in writing, from the multifaceted linguistic and rhetorical strategies that she employed, to the texts inspired by her power and charisma.
In Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain leading scholars approach the letter from different disciplinary perspectives to illuminate its workings. Contributors to this volume examine how elements, such as handwriting, seals, ink, and use of space, were vitally significant to how letters communicated.
Marcus Gheeraerts’s portrait of a ’Persian lady’ - probably in fact an English lady in masquing costume - exemplifies the hybridity of early modern English culture. Her surrounding landscape and the embroidery on her gown are typically English; but her head-dress and slippers are decidedly exotic, the inscriptions beside her are Latin, and her creator was an ’incomer’ artist. She is emblematic of the early modern culture of exchange, both between England and its neighbours, and between Europe and the wider world. This volume presents fresh research into such early modern exchanges, exploring how new identities, subjectivities and artefacts were forged in dialogues and encounters between diverse cultures, nations and language communities. The early modern period was a time of creative interactions between cultures and disciplines, and accordingly this is a multidisciplinary volume, drawing together international experts in literature, history, modern and ancient languages and art history. It understands cultural exchange as encompassing both the geographical mobilities of travel and trade and the transmission of ideas across borders and between languages, as enabled by the new technology of print. Sites of exchange were located not only in distant and unfamiliar lands, but also in the bookseller’s shop and the scholar’s study. The volume also explores the productive and complex dialogues between early modern culture and the classical past. The types of exchanges discussed include the linguistic transactions of translation and imitation; interactions between cultural elites, such as monarchs, courtiers and diplomats; and the catalytic influences of particularly mobile or outward-looking individuals and groups. Ranging from the neo-Latin poetry of an English author to the plays of a nun in seventeenth-century New Spain, from royal portraits exchanged in diplomatic negotiations to travelling companions in the Ottoman Empire, the volume sheds new light
Though Elizabeth I never left England, she wrote extensively to correspondents abroad, and these letters were of central importance to the politics of the period. This volume presents the findings of a major international research project on this correspondence, including newly edited translations of 15 of Elizabeth's letters in foreign languages.
This interdisciplinary volume explores core emerging themes in the study of early modern literary-diplomatic relations, developing essential methods of analysis and theoretical approaches that will shape future research in the field. Contributions focus on three intimately related areas: the impact of diplomatic protocol on literary production; the role of texts in diplomatic practice, particularly those that operated as 'textual ambassadors'; and the impact of changes in the literary sphere on diplomatic culture. The literary sphere held such a central place because it gave diplomats the tools to negotiate the pervasive ambiguities of diplomacy; simultaneously literary depictions of diplomacy and international law provided genre-shaped places for cultural reflection on the rapidly changing and expanding diplomatic sphere. Translations exemplify the potential of literary texts both to provoke competition and to promote cultural convergence between political communities, revealing the existence of diplomatic third spaces in which ritual, symbolic, or written conventions and semantics converged despite particular oppositions and differences. The increasing public consumption of diplomatic material in Europe illuminates diplomatic and literary communities, and exposes the translocal, as well as the transnational, geographies of literary-diplomatic exchanges. Diplomatic texts possessed symbolic capital. They were produced, archived, and even redeployed in creative tension with the social and ceremonial worlds that produced them. Appreciating the generic conventions of specific types of diplomatic texts can radically reshape our interpretation of diplomatic encounters, just as exploring the afterlives of diplomatic records can transform our appreciation of the histories and literatures they inspired.
The essays in this book traverse two centuries of queens and their afterlives—historical, mythological, and literary. They speak of the significant and subtle ways that queens leave their mark on the culture they inhabit, focusing on gender, marriage, national identity, diplomacy, and representations of queens in literature. Elizabeth I looms large in this volume, but the interrogation of queenship extends from Elizabeth's historical counterparts, such as Anne Boleyn and Catherine de Medici, to her fictional echoes in the pages of John Lyly, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. Celebrating and building on the renowned scholarship of Carole Levin, Queens Matter in Early Modern Studies exemplifies a range of innovative approaches to examining women and power in the early modern period.
This book investigates the work of the Elizabethan secretariat during the fascinating decade of the 1590s, when, after the death of Francis Walsingham, the place of principal secretary remained vacant for six years. Through original sources in the collections of the State Papers and Cecil Papers, this study reconstructs the activities of the clerks and secretaries who worked in close contact with the Queen at court. An estimated fifty people, many unidentified, saw to every minute detail of the production of official documents and letters in an array of offices, rooms and locations within and outside the court. The book introduces the staff of the Elizabethan writing offices as a community of shared knowledge with a privileged and constant access to papers of state, working behind the scenes of court display and high politics. While the production of the state papers is explored as a means to re-construct the functioning of the inner mechanisms of state, it also provides a lens through which to access the knowledge of the administration in a pre-bureaucratic age.
This is the first edition ever of the Queen’s correspondence in Italian. These letters cast a new light on her talents as a linguist and provide interesting details as to her political agenda, and on the cultural milieu of her court. This book provides a fresh analysis of the surviving evidence concerning Elizabeth’s learning and use of Italian, and of the activity of the members of her ‘Foreign Office.’ All of the documents transcribed here are accompanied by a short introduction focusing on their content and context, a brief description of their transmission history, and an English translation.
This book—along with its companion volume Writing Mary I: History, Historiography, and Fiction—centers on representations of Queen Mary I in writing, broadly construed, and the process of writing that queen into literature and other textual sources. It spans an equally wide chronological and geographical scope, accounting for the years prior to her accession in July 1553 through the centuries that followed her death in November 1558 and for her reach across England, and into Ireland, Spain, Italy, Russia, and Africa. Its intent is to foreground words and language—written, spoken, and acted out—and, by extension, to draw out matters of and conversations about rhetoric, imagery, methodology, source base, genre, narrative, form, and more. Taken together, these two volumes find in England’s first crowned queen regnant an incomparable opportunity to ask new questions and seek new answers that deepen our understanding of queenship, the early modern era, and modern popular culture.