This pioneering work, the first serious analysis of the royal household between the middle ages and the eighteenth century, examines the internal workings of the court which was key to politics, and the personnel and organisation of the private royal apartments. It presents radical reinterpretation of the period as a whole, seeing the years from 1460 to 1640 as an essential unity - the age of personal court monarchy undivided by an imaginary 'revolution in government'.
The story of the reign of Charles I - through the lives of his people. Prize-winning historian David Cressy mines the widest range of archival and printed sources, including ballads, sermons, speeches, letters, diaries, petitions, proclamations, and the proceedings of secular and ecclesiastical courts, to explore the aspirations and expectations not only of the king and his followers, but also the unruly energies of many of his subjects, showing how royal authority was constituted, in peace and in war - and how it began to fall apart. A blend of micro-historical analysis and constitutional theory, parish politics and ecclesiology, military, cultural, and social history, Charles I and the People of England is the first major attempt to connect the political, constitutional, and religious history of this crucial period in English history with the experience and aspirations of the rest of the population. From the king and his ministers to the everyday dealings and opinions of parishioners, petitioners, and taxpayers, David Cressy re-creates the broadest possible panorama of early Stuart England, as it slipped from complacency to revolution.
Far more than any professional historian, Shakespeare is responsible for whatever notions most of us possess about English medieval history. Anyone who appreciates the dramatic action of Shakespeare's history plays but is confused by much of the historical detail will welcome this guide to the Richards, Edwards, Henrys, Warwicks and Norfolks who ruled and fought across Shakespeare's page and stage. Not only theater-goers and students, but today's film-goers who want to enrich their understanding of film adaptations of plays such as Richard III and Henry V will find this revised edition of Shakespeare's English Kings to be an essential companion. Saccio's engaging narrative weaves together three threads: medieval English history according to the Tudor chroniclers who provided Shakespeare with his material, that history as understood by modern scholars, and the action of the plays themselves. Including a new preface, a revised further reading list, genealogical charts, an appendix of names and titles, and an index, the second edition of Shakespeare's English Kings offers excellent background reading for all of the ten history plays.
This is the story of Elizabeth I's inner circle and the crucial human relationships which lay at the heart of her personal and political life. Using a wide range of original sources - including private letters, portraits, verse, drama, and state papers - Susan Doran provides a vivid and often dramatic account of political life in Elizabethan England and the queen at its centre, offering a deeper insight into Elizabeth's emotional and political conduct - and challenging many of the popular myths that have grown up around her. It is a story replete with fascinating questions. What was the true nature of Elizabeth's relationship with her father, Henry VIII, especially after his execution of her mother? How close was she to her half-brother Edward VI - and were relations with her half-sister Mary really as poisonous as is popularly assumed? And what of her relationship with her Stewart cousins, most famously with Mary Queen of Scots, executed on Elizabeth's orders in 1587, but also with Mary's son James VI of Scotland, later to succeed Elizabeth as her chosen successor? Elizabeth's relations with her family were crucial, but just as crucial were her relations with her courtiers and her councillors. Here again, the story raises a host of fascinating questions. Was the queen really sexually jealous of her maids of honour? Did physically attractive male favourties dominate her court? What does her long and intimate relationship with the Earl of Leicester reveal about her character, personality, and attitude to marriage? What can the fall of Essex tell us about Elizabeth's political management in the final years of her reign? And what was the true nature of her personal and political relationship with influential and long-serving councillors such as the Cecils and Sir Francis Walsingham? And how did courtiers and councillors deal with their demanding royal mistress?
Ben Jonson was the greatest of Shakespeare's contemporaries. In the century following his death he was seen by many as the finest of all English writers, living or dead. His fame rested not only on the numerous plays he had written for the theatre, but on his achievements over three decades as principal masque-writer to the early Stuart court, where he had worked in creative, and often stormy, collaboration with Inigo Jones. One of the most accomplished poets of the age, he had become - in fact if not in title - the first Poet Laureate in England. Jonson's life was full of drama. Serving in the Low Countries as a young man, he overcame a Spanish adversary in single combat in full view of both the armies. His early satirical play, The Isle of Dogs, landed him in prison, and brought all theatrical activity in London to a temporary — and very nearly to a permanent — standstill. He was 'almost at the gallows' for killing a fellow actor after a quarrel, and converted to Catholicism while awaiting execution. He supped with the Gunpowder conspirators on the eve of their planned coup at Westminster. After satirizing the Scots in Eastward Ho! he was imprisoned again; and throughout his career was repeatedly interrogated about plays and poems thought to contain seditious or slanderous material. In his middle years, twenty stone in weight, he walked to Scotland and back, seemingly partly to fulfil a wager, and partly to see the land of his forebears. He travelled in Europe as tutor to the mischievous son of Sir Walter Ralegh, who 'caused him to be drunken and dead drunk' and wheeled provocatively through the streets of Paris. During his later years he presided over a sociable club in the Apollo Room in Fleet Street, mixed with the most learned scholars of his day, and viewed with keen interest the political, religious, and scientific controversies of the day. Ian Donaldson's new biography draws on freshly discovered writings by and about Ben Jonson, and locates his work within the social and intellectual contexts of his time. Jonson emerges from this study as a more complex and volatile character than his own self-declarations (and much modern scholarship) would allow, and as a writer whose work strikingly foresees - and at times pre-emptively satirizes - the modern age.
Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. At the heart of the new queen's court lay Elizabeth's bedchamber, closely guarded by the favoured women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels and shared her bed. Elizabeth's private life was of public, political concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the make-up and elaborate clothes, as well as to rumoured illicit dalliances with such figures as Robert Dudley. Their presence was for security as well as propriety, as the kingdom was haunted by fears of assassination plots and other Catholic subterfuge. For such was the significance of the queen's body: it represented the very state itself. This riveting, revealing history of the politics of intimacy uncovers the feminized world of the Elizabethan court. Between the scandal and intrigue the women who attended the queen were the guardians of the truth about her health, chastity and fertility. Their stories offer extraordinary insight into the daily life of the Elizabethans, the fragility of royal favour and the price of disloyalty.
This is the first comprehensive account of English Renaissance literature in the context of the culture which shaped it: the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the tumult of Catholic and Protestant alliances during the Reformation, the age of printing and of New World discovery. In this century courtly literature under Henry VIII moves toward a new, more personal poetry of sentiment, narrative and romance. The development of English prose is seen in the writing of More, Foxe and Hooker and in the evolution of satire and popular culture. Drama moves from the churches to the commercial playhouses with the plays of Kyd, Marlowe and the early careers of Shakespeare and Jonson. The Companion tackles all these subjects in fourteen newly-commissioned essays, written by experts for student readers. A detailed chronology of major literary achievements concludes with a list of authors and their dates.
Few periods of English history have been so subject to `revisionism' as the Tudors and Stuarts. This volume offers a full introduction to the complex historiographical debates currently raging about politics and religion in early modern England. It * draws together thirteen articles culled from familiar and also less accessible sources * embraces revisionist and counter-revisionist viewpoints * combines controversial works on both politics and religion * covers Tudor as well as early Stuart England * includes helpful glossary, explanatory headnotes and suggestions for further reading. These carefully edited and introduced essays draw on the new evidence of newsletters and ballads and ritual, as well as the more traditional sources, to offer a new and broader understanding of this transformative era of English history.
The author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII chronicles the struggles of the Lancaster and York families to control the British monarchy, while offering profiles of such figures as Katherine of Valois, Elizabeth Wydville, and Margaret of Anjou.
The Politics of Romance in Fifteenth-Century England
Author: R. Lexton
Category: Political Science
Examining Malory's political language, this study offers a revisionary view of Arthur's kingship in the Morte Darthur and the role of the Round Table fellowship. Considering a range of historical and political sources, Lexton suggests that Malory used a specific lexicon to engage with contemporary problems of kingship and rule.
This is the first general selection from the substantial body of surviving documents about Elizabeth’s navy. It is a companion to The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I (Vol.157 in the NRS Series), where the apparatus serving both volumes was printed, and it complements the other NRS volumes that deal specifically with the Spanish Armada. This collection concentrates (though not exclusively so) on the early years of Elizabeth’s reign when there was no formal war. From 1558-1585 the navy was involved in a number of small-scale campaigns, pursuit of pirates and occasional shows of force. The documents selected emphasize the financial and administrative processes that supported these operations, such as mustering, victualing, demobilisation, and ship maintenance and repair. The fleet varied in size from about 30 to 45 ships during the period and a vast amount of maintenance and repair was required. The main component of the volume is the massively detailed Navy Treasurer's account for 1562-3 which is followed by and collated with the corresponding Exchequer Account. The documents illustrate just how efficiently the dockyards functioned. They were one of the great early Elizabethan achievements.
A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I. 'We are a prince from a line of princes.' Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.