Dissing Elizabeth focuses on the criticism that cast a shadow on the otherwise celebrated reign of Elizabeth I. The essays in this politically and historically revealing book demonstrate the sheer pervasiveness and range of rhetoric against the queen, illuminating the provocative discourse of disrespect and dissent that existed over an eighty-year period, from her troubled days as a princess to the decades after her death in 1603.
As editor Julia M. Walker suggests, the breadth of dissent considered in this collection points to a dark side of the Cult of Elizabeth. Reevaluating neglected texts that had not previously been perceived as critical of the queen or worthy of critical appraisal, contributors consider dissent in a variety of forms, including artwork representing (and mocking) the queen, erotic and pornographic metaphors for Elizabeth in the popular press, sermons subtly critiquing her actions, and even the hostility encoded in her epitaph and in the placement of her tomb. Other chapters discuss gossip about Elizabeth, effigies of the queen, polemics against her marriage to the Duke of Alencon, common verbal slander, violence against emblems of her authority, and the criticism embedded in the riddles, satires, and literature of the period.
Julia M. Walker is Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of Women's Studies at SUNY at Geneseo.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction: The Dark Side of the Cult of Elizabeth / Julia M. Walker 1 History and Policy The Bad Seed: Princess Elizabeth and the Seymour Incident / Sheila Cavanagh 9 Why Did Elizabeth Not Marry? / Susan Doran 30 The Royal Image in Elizabeth Ireland / Christopher Highley 60 "We shall never have a merry world while the Queene lyveth": Gender, Monarchy, and the Power of Seditious Words / Carole Levin 77 Pamphlets and Sermons "Soueraigne Lord of lordly Lady of this land": Elizabeth, Stubbs, and the Gaping Gvlf / Ilona Bell 99 Out of Egypt: Richard Fletcher's Sermon before Elizabeth I after the Execution of Mary Queen of Scots / Peter E. McCullough 118 The Power of the Poets "The Image of this Queeneso quaynt": The Pornographic Blazon 1588-1608 / Hannah Betts 153 Queen Elizabeth Compiled: Henry Stanford's Private Anthology and the Question of Accountability / Marcy L. North 185 "Not as women wonted be": Spenser's Amazon Queen / Mary Villeponteaux 209 The Image of the Queen Fair Is Fowle: Interpreting Anti-Elizabethan Composite Portariture / Rob Content 229 Bones of Contention: Posthumous Images of Elizabeth and Stuart Politics / Julia M. Walker 252 Secondary Works Cited 277 Notes on Contributors 293 Index 295