Literature and Theatre

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Violence, masculinity, and the colonial project in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
John Soderberg

A central project of colonial encounters is establishing and maintaining clear boundaries between intrusive and indigenous populations. While delineating boundaries is, in part, a means of securing a superior identity for colonizers, these boundaries also attempt to mask the violence of colonialism. This chapter uses animals as a point of entry into the contradictions that creep into the imaginative space created by the text and illustrations of John Derricke’s Image. It begins with a review of the effort to create a clear boundary between English and Irish populations by showing their different engagements with animals. But, implicit in this animals-make-the-man strategy is the threat of disorder. Interacting with the wrong species in the wrong way can make the man wrong. Illustrating the violence of conquest blurs boundaries. In these moments, the metaphorical associations with animals grow recalcitrant. Artfully constructed boundaries give way to a violent and confusing muddle.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Derricke’s Image of Irelande and the Mirror for Magistrates tradition
Scott Lucas

John Derricke, this chapter argues, employed the influential collection of historical verse tragedies A Mirror for Magistrates (first published 1559) as a model for various parts of his Image of Irelande. In doing so, however, Derricke found himself forced to acknowledge and to seek to overturn the often uncomfortable messages of that source. Thus, in the opening poem of his collection, Derricke uses a selective celebratory presentation of English monarchs to contest the view in the Mirror of English leaders as often undeserving of rule. Similarly, while he adopts the form and meter of the Mirror for his poems in the voice of Irish rebel Rory Oge O’More, Derricke suppresses the complexity of rebellion’s treatment in the Mirror, including the claims that political resistance is sometimes justified and that erring English officers bring rebellion on themselves. The Image thus reveals the anxious inspiration its author derived from A Mirror for Magistrates.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Aesthetico-political misprision in Derricke’s A Discoverie of Woodkarne
Thomas Cartelli

In Drama, Performance, and Polity in Pre-Cromwellian Ireland (2000), Alan Fletcher offers the possibility of variant readings of a provocative section of one of John Derricke’s more notorious woodcuts. Though Fletcher does not expressly claim that the behavior of the two bare-bummed kerns in the lower right corner of the third plate of Derricke’s Discoverie is designedly flatulent rather than excremental, his exhaustive knowledge of the varied ensemble of entertainments on offer in early modern Irish banquet settings leads him to qualify the grosser form of negative ethnic stereotyping in which Derricke may be engaging. In the process of rebalancing the bias of uncivil defecators in favor of slightly more civil braigetori, this chapter explores more broadly Derricke’s strategic acts of misrepresentation which operate both on the level of idealization (of Sir Henry Sidney and his fellow Englishmen) and of demonization (of the Irish): aesthetic determinations that appeal to already ethnocentrically established English values of religious and cultural superiority, on the one hand, while promoting or intensifying the application of those values to the English reader’s understanding of Ireland and the native Irish, on the other.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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
Discovering the formal and figurative texture of Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Matthew Woodcock

John Derricke’s Image of Irelande is regularly mined by historians and critics interested in its ethnographic observations, propagandistic pro-Sidney agenda and the informative detail of its woodcut illustrations. Little has been written, however, about the formal, stylistic and rhetorical aspects of the text itself, and of the confection of verse modes Derricke brings together. This chapter addresses this situation by examining Derricke’s employment of an elaborate vatic compositional fiction, multiple metrical forms and narratorial standpoints, and a distinct set of rhetorical devices (in particular analogy and antithesis). It poses questions about Derricke’s fundamental decision to anatomise his subject using poetry rather than prose, and about the place of allegory or figura in the text, and it considers some of the different generic models he may have had in mind when exploring the role and interplay of words, images and action in both the maintenance and representation of order in Tudor Ireland.

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

How can the maker and deviser of The Image of Irelande, containing six designs which are described as ‘probably the finest woodcuts made in a sixteenth-century English book’ be so little known? Where did this artistry come from and where could one hone such woodcutting skills? What was the influence of the publisher, John Day, England’s ‘most important publisher of illustrated books in the second half of the sixteenth century’, and how did the artist(s) become part of the entourage of Sir Henry Sidney coming to Ireland and recording the events of his lord deputyship during the mid-1570s? This chapter addresses these questions to argue for Derricke’s connection to the creation of the woodcuts.

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

The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne was published by John Derricke in 1581, following his time in Ireland in the employ of Sir Henry Sidney, the then lord deputy of Ireland. The book defends Sidney’s record and details the military victories he achieved over the native Irish. Included in the publication were twelve double-page woodcuts which Derricke stated were ‘Made and devised by him’. These depict various scenes of life in late Tudor Ireland, some of which Derricke may have witnessed himself. Two of these illustrate Sidney in Dublin, one a scene in which the lord deputy emerges through the main gate of Dublin Castle in a procession of horse-mounted troops. Notwithstanding certain licence on Derricke’s part, this image of Dublin Castle and its environs still provides a valuable commentary on the nature of the built environment in late sixteenth-century Dublin, the nature of which is only partially understood from documentary sources and archaeological remains. This chapter discusses the value of Derricke’s Image for archaeologists and architectural historians in reconstructing certain aspects of architecture in late Tudor Dublin.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Print culture, multimodality, and visual design in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Andie Silva

One of the most detailed visual accounts of Irish customs and culture, the twelve illustrations in The Image of Ireland (1581) represent an impressive achievement in visual design and textual navigation. Part diagram, part graphic novel, each image features small letters connecting its actions to the narrative poem below. A look at other printed illustrations from the period (particularly those produced by Dutch woodcutters) demonstrates that John Derricke’s work carefully responded to contemporary themes and popular visual protocols. Further, the twelve illustrations offered a unique combination of form, design, and functionality not unlike modern hypertexts. Taking into consideration the early print marketplace in general and the demands from Day’s workroom in particular, this chapter suggests that The Image of Ireland’s illustrations were designed to be printed and circulated separately from Derricke’s poem. Derricke’s illustrations can be understood within the context of increasingly multimodal and dynamic reading practices among middle-class readers and are evidence of Day’s incredibly diverse market of book-buyers.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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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
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Derricke, Dürer, and Foxe
Thomas Herron

This chapter explores the thematic connections between two English works rife with pro-Protestant Reformation-era politics and religious polemic, John Derricke's Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581) and John Foxe's Actes and Monuments (1560s) (also known as the Book of Martyrs). Both works were published by John Day in London. This chapter highlights Derricke’s apocalyptic rhetoric as well as similarities between his sophisticated visual program of woodcuts, Foxe’s title page, and the religious prints of Albrecht Dürer. Derricke's visual scheme of twelve woodcuts is bifurcated in style between the ‘damned’ Irish and the civilized English who conquered them. Sir Henry Sidney, Derricke's hero against the rebel Irish, is portrayed as more of a Christ-like judge than previously understood.

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