Royal Genealogy in the Age of Shakespeare
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft
Shakespeare lived in an age when royal genealogy mattered. Queen Elizabeth succeeded her father despite accusations of illegitimacy after Anne Boleyn's beheading. As she defied suitors and potential spouses, and refused not only to produce but even to nominate an heir, factions arose siding with the numerous candidates, particularly Mary Queen of Scots. When, upon Elizabeth's death, James VI, the king of Scotland, prepared to ascend for the first time in history to the English throne, it became paramount that he should fashion himself as an English monarch as well. In this game of thrones, royal genealogy was the instrument that could best represent, distort, create, favour or undermine the ancestral right of the current ruler and their potential successors. In the form of scrolls, charts, books, paper rags and even maps, the genealogies of Elizabeth I, James I, and the main pretenders were circulated in Britain and Europe in manuscript and print, officially or surreptitiously.BR> This book - the first systematic study of this subject - explores the most fascinating examples of royal genealogy in this era, from the rooms of Whitehall to the pockets of Jesuits in London prisons. Most of these texts are here reproduced in print for the first time, with lavish illustrations; they reveal the political divisions, concerns, treasons and celebrations that lurked behind their splendour. SARA TREVISAN studied at the University of Padua. After working as a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in Renaissance Studies in Britain and the US, she is now a full-time rare books and manuscripts specialist in the antiquarian book trade and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Warwick.