Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $28.68   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   


Elizabeth I is perhaps the most visible woman in early modern Europe, yet little attention has been paid to what she said about the difficulties of constructing her power in a patriarchal society. This revisionist study examines her struggle for authority through the representation of her female body. Based on a variety of extant historical and literary materials, Frye's interpretation focuses on three representational crises spaced fifteen years apart: the London coronation of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the publication of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In ways which varied with social class and historical circumstance, the London merchants, the members of the Protestant faction, courtly artists, and artful courtiers all sought to stabilize their own gendered identities by constructing the queen within the "natural" definitions of the feminine as passive and weak. Elizabeth fought back, acting as a discursive agent by crossing, and thus disrupting, these definitions. She and those closely identified with her interests evolved a number of strategies through which to express her political control in terms of the ownership of her body, including her elaborate iconography and a mythic biography upon which most accounts of Elizabeth's life have been based. The more authoritative her image became, the more vigorously it was contested in a process which this study examines and consciously perpetuates.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Susan Frye's Elizabeth I is an exciting and original book, a richly detailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed her authority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes of analysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biography and the intricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense of discovery."—Stephen Orgel, Stanford University
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195113839
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Lexile: 1640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Who Represents Elizabeth? 3
1 Engendered Economics: Elizabeth I's Coronation Entry 1559 22
Queen Mary as Pretext 26
Sponsors, Authors, and Meaning in the Entries of Elizabeth and James 30
Allegory, Instability, and Material Practice 33
Elizabeth's Early Self-representation 36
The Sexual Economy of the Passage 40
Truth, the Daughter of the Signifier 43
Profits and Representations 48
2 Engendering Policy at Kenilworth 1575 56
Ambition and Policy 57
Kenilworth's Two Texts 61
The Terms of the Visit 65
A Proposal of Marriage 70
Elizabeth's Imprisonment 72
A "Military Skirmish" and Questions of Policy in the Netherlands 78
"By soveraigne maidens might" 86
Elizabeth, Dudley, and the Competition for Representation 92
3 Engendered Violence: Elizabeth, Spenser, and the Definitions of Chastity 1590 97
Turning Sixty in the 1590s 98
The Queen's Presence 104
Elizabeth's Later Strategies of Self-representation 107
Spenser and the Definitions of Chastity 114
Love, Magic, and the Female Audience 120
The Topography of Threat and Rape 124
"So cruelly to pen": Denying Rape and Having It, Too 128
Spenser and Busirane 132
Captivity: Essex and the Queen 135
Captivity: Sidney, Spenser, and the Queen 139
Epilogue: Reading Elizabeth Reading 144
Notes 149
Selected Bibliography 195
Index 217
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)