Maryclaire Moroney
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Captain and Kern and Knight-in-Arms
Martial identities and the subject of conquest in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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Whether captain, kern or knight, martial identities in Elizabethan England and Ireland are as multiple, class-inflected, and contested as the military contexts through which they are experienced and expressed. This chapter argues that John Derricke’s (mis)representations of Gaelic Irish forces and their English others is critical to our understanding of the work’s political and polemical concerns. The woodcuts, in particular, have long been mined for their accurate depiction of weaponry and dress, but the extent to which the work as a whole seeks to obscure how far the Irish kerne and his English counterpart were indistinguishable comrades in arms has gone unremarked.

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