Doubtful and dangerous

The question of succession in late Elizabethan England

Susan Doran
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Paulina Kewes
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Doubtful and Dangerous examines the pivotal influence of the succession question on the politics, religion and culture of the post-Armada years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Although the earlier Elizabethan succession controversy has long captured the interest of historians and literary scholars, the later period has suffered from relative obscurity. Our book remedies this situation. Taking a thematic and interdisciplinary approach, individual chapters demonstrate that key late Elizabethan texts – literary, political and polemical – cannot be understood without reference to the succession. The chapters also reveal how the issue affected court politics, lay at the heart of religious disputes (notably the Archpriest controversy), stimulated constitutional innovation, and shaped archipelagic and continental relationships. By situating the topic within its historiographical and chronological contexts, the editors offer a revised account of the whole reign, challenging many established interpretations. The book brings together scholars from the fields of literature and history working in England and the US. Most are distinguished academics, such as Patrick Collinson whose last work is published here; others are younger scholars who are already making their mark on early modern studies. Interdisciplinary in scope and spanning the crucial transition from the Tudors to the Stuarts, the book will be indispensable to scholars and students of early modern British and Irish history, literature, religion, and culture.

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‘All in all, this is a fine volume, full of valuable insights and one which does credit to both the editors and the series.'
Nicholas Tyacke, University College London
The Parliamentary History Yearbook Trust
October 2016

‘It contains much which is original and much for further research, and the Catholic perspective contains much that gives grounds for thought in different directions to the usual. Excellent bibliographical references throughout provide material for this thought. This is a worthwhile addition to the library of anyone interested in the question of the Elizabethan succession.'
Jasmin L. Ditcham, Wellington, Shropshire
The Sixteenth Century Journal, The Journal of Early Modern Studies. Volume XLVlll, No. 1
Spring 2017

‘Doran and Kewes have produced a remarkably cohesive yet considerably varied volume... It is an admirable achievement and an enjoyable read.'
Susan Royal, Durham University
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 67 / Issue 03
July 2016

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