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


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  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107546769

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Explores King James I's literary activities interacted with those of the best-known writers of the time
    • Considers a broad range of Jacobean authors and genres
    • Provides fresh perspectives on Jonson, Donne and Shakespeare
    Read more


    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107546769
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 219 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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

  • Author

    Jane Rickard, University of Leeds
    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).


    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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