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Martial identities and the subject of conquest in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Maryclaire Moroney

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.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Essays on text and context

This collection of sixteen essays, the first devoted to John Derricke’s work, offers new readings of, and new sources behind, The Image of Irelande: With a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581), all to better explicate facets of this difficult and complex book. While prior scholarship on Derricke was largely confined to commentary on the illustrations, the essays in this volume encompass a broad range of approaches to the Image of Irelande in its entirety. Although on the face of it, The Image is blatantly pro-Sidney and anti-Irish propaganda, and has always been so received, the essays in this collection combine to suggest that Derricke’s book is in fact far more culturally and politically daring than has been assumed, with a highly sophisticated textual and visual presentation only now brought into focus. In addition to scrutinizing Derricke’s poetic and iconographic practices, the essays include insights from architecture and archaeology, print history and reading practices, studies of civic display and colonial ideologies. The collection, divided into five sections (Ideologies, Archaeologies, Print and publication, Influences, and Interpretations), establishes a basis on which to build future analyses of Derricke’s enigmatic book.

Abstract only
Thomas Herron, Denna J. Iammarino, and Maryclaire Moroney

The Introduction to the book offers a historical and literary contextualization of the Image. The editors address the text’s rich historical connections; the little-known background of the author, John Derricke; the brief, but impactful reception of the work; the immediate and contemporary reaches of the Image. Lastly, the editors summarize the collection’s chapters, linking many of the ideas contained in the work. In general, the Introduction seeks to present information about the work, its characters, and its sordid history, ultimately arguing for its early modern significance to a variety of disciplines.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne