Elizabethan poetics and politics
in Literature and politics in the English Reformation
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This chapter discusses the political culture of the early years of Elizabeth's reign as reflected in the texts as The Mirror of Magistrates. It examines the writing of Barnabe Googe, whose works represent an attempt to produce a specifically Protestant and magisterial combination of Henrician court poetry with Edwardian politics. All the poetry that Googe produced during the 1560s was committed to the creation of a godly Protestant England. Its enemies were an anarchic populace, papist idolatry and Cupido's tyranny. The chapter also discusses John Foxe's Acts and Monuments and George Gascoigne's work A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres. It argues that these two very different works produce similar ideological solutions to the problem of defining Elizabeth's queenship. In the process they illustrate the extent to which the culture of the later Elizabethan period was a product of the political and poetic debates of the early years of the Queen's reign.


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