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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Elizabeth I
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.057  Monday, 29 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Heidi Webb Arnold <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 1999 11:26:57 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I

[2]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 1999 13:30:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I

[3]     From:   Manuela Rossini <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Mar 1999 15:55:29 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heidi Webb Arnold <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 1999 11:26:57 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I

Huizung Perng asks if Elizabeth was a virgin-she was a successful head
of state, an anomaly in those days, so why not a virgin as well.
Arguments have been made that her political presentation of virginity
hardened her ability to rule, cf. Philippa Berry, Chastity and Power,
among others. Certainly hounded as she was to provide a successor to the
throne, her claimed virginity would have addressed the parliamentary
requests for a named successor, which presumably meant that Parliament
expected her to marry and provide a born heir.  See Elizabeth's
parliamentary speeches in which she addresses the succession issue and
calls herself a virgin queen.

Why the Queen did not marry is a much more interesting question, as in
the case of Monsieur, Duke of Alencon, some of her correspondence
suggests that she did very seriously consider the possibility of
marriage. See Mueller's edition of the Queen's correspondence, which
includes letters to Monsieur.

If the question about her virginity is about the Queen as politician,
then she was a virgin head of state. If the question is about the Queen
as a person, it is much more interesting to consider her courtship
experiences, orchestrated by statecraft, and her hesitations and
indecision with her most serious suitor.

Cheers,
Heidi Arnold
Univ. of Chicago

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 1999 13:30:11 -0500
Subject: 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I

>I'm doing a project focusing on Elizabethan texts, trying to find out
>the  revolt (especially among the male subjects) against Queen
>Elizabeth's maiden ruling.  Could anyone suggest any books?  The
>Renaissance contemporary texts are most wanted!  Those from Renaissance
>scholars will do, too!

There's a recent collection of essays called *Dissing Elizabeth* but I
am sorry that I cannot remember the names of the editors.

Melissa D. Aaron
University of Michigan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Manuela Rossini <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Mar 1999 15:55:29 +0100
Subject: 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0547 Qs: Elizabeth I

Dear Christine,

In Chapter 2 ("Elizabeth") of her book PUZZLING SHAKESPEARE (1988), Leah
Marcus cites a number of Elizabethans expressing a certain unease about
the Virgin Queen (Cox, Stubbs, et al.). The early modern voices quoted
in Jodi Mikalachki's THE LEGACY OF BOADICEA (Routledge 1998) might also
be useful to you. I found this study very interesting and fascinating in
regard to its exploration of male anxieties about the unmarried status
and independent authority of female rulers. Figures like Cordeilla,
Bodicea, and Elizabeth I, Mikalachki argues, not only undermine the
sex/gender system of their time but, above all, threaten the
historiographic, cartographic and dramatic establishment of a stable,
masculine identity for the early modern English nation.

Cheers,
Manuela Rossini
 

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