"A Mirror for Magistrates" and the Politics of the English Reformation
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Many of the arguments of this book found their first expression in a Duke University dissertation directed by Annabel Patterson. I owe an enduring debt of gratitude to Professor Patterson, who introduced me to A Mirror for Magistrates, encouraged me to investigate the fraught literary and political questions surrounding it, and provided through her scholarship a model of ...
In the opening scene of Ben Jonson’s 1614 comedy Bartholomew Fair, several actors representing theater employees address the audience on how properly to view Jonson’s play. One of these, the Scrivener, asks audience members to accept certain “Articles of Agreement” between themselves and the author before the play begins. Although this compact allows audiences generally ...
Chapter 1: A Memorial of suche Princes: Creation and Contexts
From the beginning, the work that would become known as A Mirror for Magistrates was a product of English Reformation politics. Only the change from Edward VI’s evangelical Protestant government to Mary I’s Anglo- Catholic (or Henrician Protestant) one brought together a Catholic printer with the initial idea for a new work of de casibus tragedies and an evangelical ...
Chapter 2: The Consolation of Tragedy: "Edmund Duke of Somerset," "Humfrey Duke of Gloucester," and the Fall of the "Good Duke" of Somerset
In the Memorial-Mirror tragedy “How Thomas Montague the earle of Salysbury in the middes of his glory, was chaunceably slayne with a piece of ordinaunce,” Salisbury’s ghost begins his narrative with a lengthy execration of the way the world typically remembers well-intentioned but unsuccessful men. “A goodly thing is surely good reporte,” he declares; too often, however,
Chapter 3: "Syr Thomas of Wudstocke" and the "Unfortunate" Death of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset
In “Somerset” and “Gloucester,” George Ferrers provides models by which readers might exonerate Edward Seymour from the damning charge that it was his own corrupt incompetence that led to his fall from power. In yet another Memorial tragedy touching on the career of the fallen Protector, “Howe syr Thomas of Wudstocke Duke of Glocester, vncle to king Richarde ...
Chapter 4: A Memorial of suche Princes and the Loss of Imperial England
George Ferrers was not alone in pursuing a retrospectively topical project in A Memorial of suche Princes. Three other Memorial authors, each anonymous, also craft exemplary narratives designed to return readers to what they saw as the chief political disasters of the Edwardian period. Their poems handle subjects different from the domestic political tragedies of Ferrers’s works. ...
Chapter 5: Royal Power and the Abuse of the Law in A Memorial of suche Princes
In the preceding three chapters I have examined chiefly Memorial-Mirror tragedies created to confront and to interpret the disasters of England’s Edwardian past. Here, by contrast, I turn my attention to the other great topically engaged project of A Memorial of suche Princes, the presentation of admonitory exempla designed to lead Marian magistrates to eschew ongoing or ...
Chapter 6: The Seconde Parte of the Mirrour for Magistrates and the Future of Political Literature in Elizabeth's Reign
The Seconde Parte of the Mirrour for Magistrates (the gathering of poems and prose links first appended to the original selection of Mirror poems in 1563) is a curious collection of writings. While presented as a unified volume compiled seven days after the tragedies of the first edition were composed, its contents are actually extremely disparate in age, content, and tone. Although ...
Conclusion: The Mirror and Its Legacy
Despite the fervor with which he composed his poetic contributions to the Seconde Part of the Mirrour for Magistrates, William Baldwin nevertheless betrays elsewhere in the 1563 Mirror a growing weariness with his now decade-old and still unfinished project. In the dedicatory epistle to this edition, Baldwin confesses his initial reluctance to compile the new volume of Mirror ...
Appendix: The Growth and Development of William Baldwin's A Mirror for Magistrates
Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 6 illus.
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture
Series Editor Byline: Arthur Kinney See more Books in this Series
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