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Bad Queen Bess?: Libellous Politics, Secret Histories and by Peter Lake

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By Peter Lake

Bad Queen Bess? analyses the backward and forward among the Elizabethan regime and diverse Catholic critics, who, from the early 1570s to the early 1590s, sought to signify that regime as a conspiracy of evil suggestions. via a style novel - the libellous mystery historical past - to English political discourse, numerous (usually nameless) Catholic authors claimed to bare to the general public what was once "really taking place" behind the scenes of legitimate lies and disinformation with which the clique of evil counsellors on the middle of the Elizabethan kingdom habitually cloaked their sinister maneuvers. parts in the regime, focused on William Cecil and his circle, answered to those attacks with their very own species of plot speak and libellous mystery background, focusing on conspiracy-driven bills of the Catholic, Marian, after which, latterly, Spanish threats.

Peter Lake provides a sequence of (mutually constitutive) strikes and counter strikes, during which the regime's claims to symbolize a kind of public political advantage, to talk for the commonweal and actual faith, elicited from sure Catholic critics a easily inverted rhetoric of non-public political vice, persecution, and tyranny. The ensuing exchanges are learn not just as a species of "political thought," yet as a manner of pondering politics as strategy and of distinguishing among "politics" and "religion." also they are analyzed as modes of political conversation and pitch-making - regarding print, circulating manuscripts, functionality, and rumor - and therefore as constitutive of an emergent mode of "public politics" and maybe of a "post reformation public sphere." whereas the focal point is essentially English, the origins and imbrication of those texts inside of, and their direct deal with to, wider eu occasions and audiences is usually current. the purpose is hence to give a contribution at the same time to the political, cultural, highbrow, and non secular histories of the period.

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Extra info for Bad Queen Bess?: Libellous Politics, Secret Histories and the Politics of Publicity in Elizabethan England

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The same could be said of the play’s warnings (placed in the mouth of the archetypically good counsellor Eubulus) about the dangers of foreign rule and the need for a parliament to be called to choose a right successor before the death of the current incumbent (with the succession unsettled) plunged the realm into chaos. / Let foreign titles yield to public wealth’ [V, ii, 166–73], So much, then, for Mary Stuart. The play ends with ‘Britain land’ devastated by popular insurrection and civil war and confronted by the prospect of foreign invasion, as the duke of Albany prepares to invade from the north and claim the crown for himself.

In particular, she (and they) would not allow the real culprits behind the rebellion in the north—and, as his Discourse showed, that meant Mary Queen of Scots and the duke of Norfolk—to be named, shamed, and finally brought to book. 62 This denounced Norton’s readiness to discuss the doings of ‘great personages’ and, in particular, ‘princes’s causes’ before the populace as tantamount to rebellion. ‘If such unbridled heads may be suffered to have their words then I fear deeds would follow shortly.

V. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 11/05/2015, SPi Libellous Politics and the Paradoxes of Publicity 37 produced, also served to prompt and legitimate the emergence of a burgeoning public politics. Over against this account, we can set An answer’s almost exactly parallel description of the rather differently configured publicity machine of the Puritans. Better connected with the establishment, the Puritans operated through more covert networks, relying on ‘a lady, a gentlewoman or some other of the privy chamber’ to spread their poison into the very heart of the court.

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