In mid-sixteenth-century England, many figures celebrated the achievements of the nation's few female humanists. This book is a study of five remarkable sixteenth-century women. It contextualizes the evidence of the sisters' reading, evaluates it against the prescription for both their male and female contemporaries, and discusses the role of the sisters themselves in directing their reading. Drawing particularly on the sisters' own writings, it demonstrates that the sisters' education extended far beyond that normally allowed for sixteenth-century women. The book challenges the view that women in this period were excluded from using their formal education to practical effect. The evidence of the Cooke sisters' political activities contributes to scholarship on later Tudor political culture. The Cooke sisters' classical learning allowed them opportunities with the written word, particularly in their activities as translators and poets. The book argues that the sisters were able to turn to their humanist education to provide them with strategies for bolstering their advice, particularly over issues of politics and religion, the most contentious areas for female counsel. It looks at the political agency demonstrated in Cooke sisters' correspondence by letters, demonstrating female detailed understanding of and contribution to issues central to Elizabethan politics. The contribution of the Cooke sisters provides another perspective on the key issues of Elizabethan diplomacy, the Queen's marriage and the political divisions of the 1590s. The book also offers a warning against the methodology of past research on the stereotype of the learned woman.
This book is a study of the English Reformation as a poetic and political event. It examines the political, religious and poetic writings of the period 1520-1580, in relation to the effects of confessionalization on Tudor writing. The central argument of the book is that it is a mistake to understand this literature simply on the basis of the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. Instead one needs to see Tudor culture as fractured between emerging confessional identities, Protestant and Catholic, and marked by a conflict between those who embraced the process of confessionalization and those who rejected it. Sir Richard Morrison's A Remedy for Sedition was part of the Henrician government's propaganda response to the Pilgrimage of Grace. Edwardian politicians and intellectuals theorized and lauded the idea of counsel in both practice and theory. The book discusses three themes reflected in Gardiner's 1554 sermon: the self, the social effects of Reformation, and the Marian approaches to the interpretation of texts. The Marian Reformation produced its own cultural poetics - which continued to have an influence on Tudor literature long after 1558. The decade following the successful suppression of the Northern Rebellion in 1570 was a difficult one for the Elizabethan regime and its supporters. An overview of Elizabethan poetics and politics explains the extent to which the culture of the period was a product of the political and poetic debates of the early years of the Queen's reign.
Saville was significant for more than disinterested scholarship.
His translation of Tacitus appeared at a critical juncture in political history,
and had important political implications and repercussions.16 But the most
important biography which Joan Henderson contributed to the Elizabethan
volumes of The History of Parliament was undoubtedly that of Robert Beale.
And Beale for Joan was not a line of duty chore but the study of a lifetime. We
shall return to Citizen Beale.
Elizabethanpolitics and public life, whether inside or outside parliament,
brought into dynamic
The Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and surviving Elizabeth’s court
As the title of Paul E. J.
Hammer’s landmark book indicates, the political career of Robert
Devereux, second Earl of Essex is associated with the polarisation of
Elizabethanpolitics towards the end of the sixteenth century. 1 And, although, as Hammer notes,
the traditional image of Essex, as ‘the ill-fated favourite of
Elizabeth’, who ‘lost his head, both metaphorically and
issues of tyranny in government, the roles of parliament and
nobility and the legitimacy of resisting a tyrant, Fletcher was not simply giving
a nod to the pressing concerns in Elizabethanpolitical and cultural debate,
but was actually engaging with these discussions through the representation
of Russia; thinking out loud about the state of civil government on a more
universal scale, through the medium of an exotic and unfamiliar land. In writing Of the Russe Common Wealth Fletcher was in the process of doing his duty
as a virtuous member of the body politic
conundrum of counsel, which was the greatest political problem of an age
which brought into uncomfortable partnership nearly absolute monarchy and
a civic-minded humanism, was never more nakedly exposed. East Anglia in
1578 is where historical geology is best able to uncover the fundamental faultline in Elizabethanpolitics.
Given the marked policy differences between the queen and many of
her councillors and courtiers, it sometimes looks as if there were two governments, not one, in mid-Elizabethan England. The issues included policy
towards the Netherlands (where it
chapter explores that process
in more depth, seeking to consider the types of information brokered by these
By focusing particularly on the activities of Mildred and Elizabeth, the
chapter demonstrates female detailed understanding of and contribution
to issues central to Elizabethanpolitics. In doing so, it explicitly seeks to
highlight women’s contribution to mainstream narratives of politics in this
period, marking a break with Harris’s work on the early Tudor period, which
distanced itself from ‘traditional political history’.10 The
Sir Philip Sidney, the Arcadia and his step-dame,
Richard James Wood
This first chapter introduces Sir Philip Sidney’s contribution to the Elizabethanpolitical imaginary, paying particular attention to his relationship, as a would-be court counsellor, with Queen Elizabeth. I begin to elucidate the particular contribution made by Sidney’s Arcadia to the beliefs and practices of Tudor political culture. The Old Arcadia , Sidney’s first attempt to negotiate his relationship with Elizabeth in the form of an extended prose work, his ‘Letter to Queen Elizabeth, Touching her Marriage with Monsieur’ and Astrophil and Stella form
’s vision of sterile ‘brinish sand’ (24) in his fragmentary poem, the ‘21th: and last booke of the Ocean to Scinthia’. 12 If the work of the two poets is read as part of an ongoing dialogue, used in part to fashion a response to Elizabeth I, Ralegh’s speaker can be seen to inhabit the same tidal imaginary as Spenser, but admits none of the temperate renewal that shapes his fellow poet’s mythmaking. 13 When read together, the work of all three writers participates in what Louis Montrose has called the ‘Elizabethanpolitical imaginary’, and the contrast between Dee
This book tells the story of English relations with Russia, from the 'strange and wonderfull discoverie' of the land and Elizabeth I's correspondence with Ivan the Terrible, to the corruption of the Muscovy Company and the Elizabethan regime's censorship of politically sensitive representations of Russia. Focusing on the life and works of Giles Fletcher, the elder, ambassador to Russia in 1588, it explores two popular themes in Elizabethan history: exploration, travel and trade and late Elizabethan political culture. The book draws together and analyses the narratives of travel, the practicalities of trade and the discourses of commonwealth and corruption that defined English encounters in late sixteenth century. In the early stages of English mercantile contact with Russia, diplomatic negotiations took shape in the wake of developing trade relations and were made up of a series of ad hoc embassies by individuals. The embassy of Giles Fletcher in 1588, however, represented a change in diplomatic tack. Fletcher's writing of Russia reveals some shared Elizabethan images of the land on Christendom's periphery and fundamentally how Russia was used as a site to reflect on themes of cultural development, commonwealth, trade and colonisation. The extensive use in Fletcher's text of the language of anti-popery points to resonances with the anxieties that riddled the political and religious consciences of late Elizabethan England. His work engaged in cajoling the commonwealth to think with the image of Russia.