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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Imagining Gloriana
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0231.  Tuesday, 15 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Mar 1994 07:50:12 -0600
        Subj:   Imagining Gloriana
 
(2)     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Mar 1994 09:46:21 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Imagining Gloriana
 
(3)     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Mar 94 22:59:01 EST
        Subj:   imagining gloriana (5.5.0202)
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Mar 1994 07:50:12 -0600
Subject:        Imagining Gloriana
 
Greetings to Michael Dobson and all and sundry interested in this topic. Faye
Kellerman's novel *The Quality of Mercy* imagines an Elizabeth who has an
erotic interest in young women as well as young men; the central character in
the story, Rebecca Lopez (daughter of the Queen's physician) is presented to
the queen and then expected to bed with her. It's quite a scene. The novel
itself is very nicely done, I think.
 
Chris Gordon, English, University of Minnesota
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Mar 1994 09:46:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Imagining Gloriana
 
To Michael Dobson
 
To add to the list of operas on Elizabeth, I might suggest the operas on
Elizabeth by Donizetti (not only"Maria Stuarda", but also "Elisabetha") and,
believe it or not, Rossini.  Robert Ward, an American composer associated with
Duke University, wrote an opera on Walter Ralegh in the 1980s, which had a
hefty part for Elizabeth (no Shakespeare, though).  In terms of novels,
definitely add Michael Moorcock's *Gloriana* to your list.  Moorcock is a very
daring (and prolific!) fantasy and science fiction writer (his award-winning
time travel novel on Christ, *Behold the Man*, nearly started fights in my
class when I taught it several years ago).   This novel is a comic and sexy
retelling of Spenser's Faerie Queene, with bits of gothic romance and literary
in-jokes tossed in for good measure (no Shakespeare, as I recall).  Doesn't QE
make a cameo appearance in Leon Rooke's very entertaining *Shakespeare's Dog*?
 
Might you make your list of Elizabeth spinoffs available to those on the
SHAKSPER list?  I know my students in the sixteenth century poetry course would
enjoy sampling these.
 
Sincerely,
 
Douglas Lanier
University of New Hampshire
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Mar 94 22:59:01 EST
Subject:        imagining gloriana (5.5.0202)
 
One of the more amusing imaginings of Elizabeth occurs in <No Bed for
Bacon>, by Caryl Brahms and F. J. Simon, which works rather as though the
authors had taken the Elizabethan section of <1066 and All That> as the
inspiration for a short novel.  The book presents Shakespeare as a harassed and
hard-working man of the theater who keeps sitting down to write a new play,
putting "Loves Labours Wonne" at the top of page and then being distracted,
often by Bacon wanting a little editorial help with some essays he's trying to
write.  A plausible explanation for the bed-mystery is offered, among many
other delights.  Bess places a higher value on his advice than she does on that
of most of her grand advisors. One of the more interesting occurs in a recent
fantasy by Mary Gentle, <Rats and Gargoyles>-postmodern work in the sense in
which that term is applied to architecture, which reimagines an early modern
England in which both magic and technology are farther advanced than in the
history we know. In this book, more C17 than C16 in its costumes and
furnishings and specific historical allusions, the figure of Elizabeth is at it
were distributed between two characters, a red-headed (female) scholar/soldier
who has a hard time choosing between acting and contemplating, healing and
wounding, and a beleaguered queen Carola who has dark curly hair like
Gloriana's Stuart successors but personality traits closer to those we
associate with Elizabeth.
 

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