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The Exceptions to the Rule

Jews in Shakespeare’s England

Cynthia Seton-Rogers

-Jewish families in Tudor England is the Ames family. Jorge Añes, who changed his surname to Ames, was a Spanish merchant who had elected to be baptised rather than expelled from Spain but came to London in about 1521 with his wife and four children 15 as an agent

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Elizabeth Mazzola

Roger Ascham has been credited with rehabilitating Elizabeth Tudor's image after a near-disastrous seduction at the hands of her stepmother's husband Thomas Seymour. But in many ways Ascham's tutelage merely continues a process the Lord Admiral had already begun, educating a young girl about what to wear, how to comport herself, and how to regard her male teacher, all necessary steps in the programme Vives details as removing 'the residue of her infancy'. This essay examines Ascham's seductions and Seymour's pedagogy with the larger aim of exploring the Tudor classroom, at once an official site of humanist learning and kind of rival space where women were taught to read and to write and to counteract the designs of male teachers. If images of Lucretia and Griselda resurface in accounts of Elizabeth's prodigious learning, there were other female figures - like Katherine Parr and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's governess Kat Ashley and the Duchess of Suffolk - who shaped a humanism of the household just as crucial as the humanism of the university.

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William Palmer

The English conquest of Ireland during the sixteenth century was accompanied by extreme violence. Historians remain divided on the motivations behind this violence. This article argues that the English violence in Ireland may be attributed to four main factors: the fear of foreign Catholic intervention through Ireland; the methods by which Irish rebels chose to fight; decisions made by English officials in London to not fund English forces in Ireland at a reasonable level while demanding that English officials in Ireland keep Ireland under control; and the creation of a system by which many of those who made the plans never had to see the suffering they inflicted. The troops who carried out the plans had to choose between their own survival and moral behaviors that placed their survival at risk.

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Stephanie Russo

she was executed on trumped-up charges of adultery and incest in May 1536. Following in the wake of the popular Showtime series The Tudors (2007–2010), there has been an increased interest in the gaps Mantel identified in Anne Boleyn's story from a

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Cymbeline

'The first Essay of a new Brytish Poet'?

Penny McCarthy

The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Cymbeline, and Pericles have been perceived as constituting a distinct group – ‘romances’ – only since 1874, as Barbara Mowat remarks.1 In the First Folio, the first two of these plays were classified as comedies, the third as tragedy. Pericles, not included in the Folio, never received a classification, but was known anomalously as ‘a play called Pericles’ in both quarto and the Third Folio. I shall argue that Cymbeline is to be seen as neither romance nor tragicomedy, but as an ‘early British History’. Close investigation of the play in relation to the historical section of Loves Martyr (published in 1601) will help to place it not in 1609–1610, but early in Shakespeare’s career. It is anti-Tudor in sentiment, and opposed to James as a prospective king. It subtly promulgates the rule of the Dudleys. The meaning of the contested term ‘British’ is key to this interpretation.

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Eve Rachele Sanders

The letter was the single most widely used property in Tudor-Stuart plays. In that memorable stage direction from The Spanish Tragedy, the letter is an instrumental device in the plot. It provides Hieronimo, the central protagonist of the revenge tragedy, with targets for revenge by identifying his son’s killers by name. However, the letter also is a sign for the interior state of mind of its writer, the beautiful Bel-imperia, in issuing a call for reprisal. It is a materialisation of what immaterial passions ultimately drive the action: desire, loss, and rage. Red ink. Blood signifies the authenticity of the words on the page. They come, literally, from Bel-imperia’s heart. And yet, the macabre medium of the message brings Hieronimo to see in it fatal implications for himself. ‘Hieronimo, beware’, he says to himself, ‘thou art betrayed, / And to entrap thy life this train is laid’. (Indeed, in another revenge tragedy, Bussy D’Ambois, an adulterous wife is forced at knifepoint to lay a snare for her lover with that very deception of a letter inscribed in her blood). This single moment in Thomas Kyd’s tragedy, Hieronimo’s reception of Bel-imperia’s ‘bloody writ’, captures the complex of attitudes that governed the circulation of letters as stage properties.

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Joel T. Rosenthal

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London, was founded in 1921, largely due to the efforts of A. F. Pollard, professor at University College, a major authority on Tudor History and an active entrepreneur in the world of historical scholarship and organization. Thanks to a recent arrangement of the IHR's archives the story of its founding and its first decade of existence can be told with reference to such in-house issues as who taught—and who attended—the early seminars and who attended the first meeting of the Anglo-American Historical Conference. Pollard envisioned a central clearing house for historical research as an integral part of the university whereby ideas could be exchanged, students introduced to the mysteries of historical research, and questions about the nature of historical projects and inquiry could be answered both through personal communication and in the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. Those who use the IHR today benefit from a vision that at the time was novel and unorthodox.

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Introduction

Literacies in Early Modern England

Eve Rachele Sanders and Margaret W. Ferguson

Literacy, in the sixteenth century, was construed as multiple, variable, subject to redefinition by edict from above and by practices from below. The importance of regulating changes in skills and behaviors, in particular, increased reading of the Bible, was hotly debated as the Reformation got underway. In England, the Tudor state intervened erratically, first encouraging the reading of the English Bible for all, then forbidding its reading to all but a privileged few. In 1538, every parish church was required by a royal injunction to purchase an English Bible and place it in the choir. The Great Bible, published in 1540 with a new preface by the Archbishop of Canterbury, stressed the ideal of an England peopled by ‘all manner’ of readers of Scripture in the vernacular: ‘Here may all manner of persons, men, women, young, old, learned, unlearned, rich, poor, priests, laymen, lords, ladies, officers, tenants, and mean men, virgins, wives, widows, lawyers, merchants, artificers, husbandmen, and all manner of persons, of what estate or condition soever they be, may in this book learn all things’. Only three years later, however, in 1543, the selfvauntingly named Act for the Advancement of True Religion and for the Abolishment of the Contrary attempted to undo that opening of the floodgates by lowering them again to allow for only a trickle of elite readers to have access to Scripture. Reading the Bible in English was prohibited outright for women, artificers, journeymen, serving-men of the rank of yeoman and under, husbandmen and laborers; noblewomen and gentlewomen could read the Bible silently; only noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants were permitted to read it aloud to others.

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Park Honan

A report on my experience with Shakespeare: A Life may not be generally useful, but I shall touch on factors that are changing our view of literary biography. It helps to refer to oneself and to the matter of a biographer’s outlook and feelings, no matter how deplorable the feelings. Of course, what a biographer thinks or feels is irrelevant, in one sense.We don’t care what you may have felt, for heaven’s sake; we judge your work! That is proper as far as it goes, but outlook and preparedness count in this field and so I shall allude to those. My general view is that biography thrives when we regard it as highly sophisticated, entertaining, and moving, and able to depict as much about life as works of fiction can. This genre has a certain relation to music and painting in its possible intensity. ‘All that is not useful’, says Matisse, ‘is detrimental to the effect’; the same applies to biographical narratives. Shakespeare’s life offers a special challenge, but not for any dire lack of evidence. Much depends on what use is made of abundant facts about Tudor Stratford, for example, and so on a personal attitude. My early attitude to Shakespeare was romantic and poor. For some time I thought of him as semi-divine, or as being ‘more than a man’. If I liked ‘Prufrock’, that was for its Hamlet allusions mainly. Later at University College in London, I was taken aback when my supervisor asked me to read something besides Shakespeare before trying to write a PhD thesis on the tragedies. I wrote two plays, both staged by London groups, but reviewed harshly in student newspapers, except for a remark to the effect that ‘Honan is incapable of writing anything but duologues, rather like Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona’. Finally I wrote a thesis on Browning partly because ‘Caliban upon Setebos’ reminded me of The Tempest.

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Imagining Empire

Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations (1598-1600) and the Idea of a British Empire

Matthew Day

As James VI of Scotland and I of England (1566–1625) found on his accession to the English throne in 1603, turning nations into empires was far from straight-forward. His desire to turn England and Scotland into the legal entity of the ‘Empire of Great Britain’ foundered on English parliamentary resistance, which forced him to implement the concept by royal proclamation (Bindoff 1945), and promote it through propagandists.2 However, James was not the first occupant of the English throne to lay claim to an empire. Henry VIII (1491–1547) had done so in an assertion of independence from the Papacy, and Elizabeth I (1533–1603) was frequently addressed as ‘Empress’ by her admirers. So, in the late Tudor and early Stuart period the idea of empire was ambiguous. Not only was the term polyvalent, but there was often a decidedly unrealistic element to the territorial claims that were made when it was used. In this article I want to examine Richard Hakluyt’s notion of empire as it emerges from his largest work, The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1598–1600). I will argue that its relationship with his concept of nationhood has not received the attention it deserves, and that the submergence of the English nation into the ‘Empire of Great Britain’ proposed by James I, was the antithesis of Hakluyt’s conception of that relationship. In short, I will argue that the usual relationship between empire and nation needs to be stood on its head if we are to understand Hakluyt’s concept of empire.