Writing the Monarch in Jacobean England: Jonson, Donne, Shakespeare and the Works of King James

Writing the Monarch in Jacobean England: Jonson, Donne, Shakespeare and the Works of King James

by Jane Rickard


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King James VI and I's extensive publications and the responses they met played a key role in the literary culture of Jacobean England. This book is the first sustained study of how James's subjects commented upon, appropriated and reworked these royal writings. Jane Rickard highlights the vitality of such responses across genres - including poetry, court masque, sermon, polemic and drama - and in the different media of performance, manuscript and print. The book focuses in particular on Jonson, Donne and Shakespeare, arguing that these major authors responded in illuminatingly contrasting ways to James's claims as an author-king, made especially creative uses of the opportunities that his publications afforded and helped to inspire some of what the King in turn wrote. Their literary responses reveal that royal writing enabled a significant reimagining of the relationship between ruler and ruled. This volume will interest researchers and advanced students of Renaissance literature and history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107546769
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/24/2019
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Jane Rickard is a Senior Lecturer in Seventeenth-Century English Literature at the University of Leeds. She is the author of Authorship and Authority: The Writings of James VI and I (2007) and co-editor of Shakespeare's Book: Essays in Reading, Writing and Reception (2008).

Table of Contents

Introduction: approaching the monarch; from Scotland to England: the accession of a writer-king; Part I. James, Jonson and the Jacobean Court: 1. 'Best of kings' and 'best of poets'?: James, Jonson and constructing the role of court poet; 2. The 'abortive and extemporal din': James, Jonson and the discussion of state affairs; Part II. James, Donne and the Politics of Religion in Jacobean England: 3. 'A conversation with your subjects': power, language and kingship in Donne's early Jacobean works; 4. 'We are in Deed and in name too, Men of Orders': Donne and the politics of preaching for the King; Part III. James, Shakespeare and the Jacobean Theatre: 5. 'Let him but be testimonied in his own bringings-forth': Shakespeare, James and constructing the King; Coda: appropriating the royal word in the 1620s and beyond; Select bibliography; Index.

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