The reign of James I (1603-25) has long been overshadowed by the prior glory of Elizabeth and the later outbreak of the Civil War. Yet how, without understanding the Jacobean court, are we to understand the world of Jonson, Donne and the late Shakespeare, divine right theory, court scandal and reform, appeals to the ancient constitution and reason of state, arguments from necessity and parliamentary precedent, chivalric nostalgia and classicism, mannerist excess and baroque grandeur? In this volume an international group of specialists in history literature and political theory set about reconstructing the mental world of the Jacobean court and challenging older orthodoxies on Jacobean politics, ideology, religion and culture. While the volume marks fresh departures in the study of the Jacobean court, it makes no attempt to offer a comprehensive study of the era. Rather, it presents chapters of original research, strongly interpretive in character, and sometimes in disagreement.
There are three different but highly suggestive interpretations of the role and writings of the king himself from Jenny Wormald, Johann Sommerville and Paul Christianson which, taken together, provide the most definitive portrait yet offered of James as king and theorist. Several essays give important new emphasis to the neglected years of James's reign.
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(247mm x 174mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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