Cover

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Frontmatter

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CONTENTS

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

John Berendt's evocative, quasi-fictional version of life in Savannah recounts the experiences of James Williams, antiques dealer and social gadfly. Williams also becomes a convicted murderer. While in the local jail, he continues to carryon his business and even to arrange a luncheon which his eighty-year-old mother will host and to which many of the socially...

CONTEXTS

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1. Letters and Desire

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pp. 3-31

Feste the Clown in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night explains to Olivia about the letters of the imprisoned, presumably mad Malvolio: "But as a madman's epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much when they are delivered" (V.i.z79-z80)1. These irrelevant letters contain no truth, no good news; therefore, the fate of their delivery causes little concern...

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2. Esm

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pp. 32-64

In September 1579 the thirty-seven-year-old Frenchman Esme Stuart d'Aubigny entered for the first time into the Presence Chamber at Stirling Castle, where he immediately prostrated himself before the thirteen-year old King James VI of Scotland, "desiring the King of Heaven to blesse his Majesty with perpetuall felicity." 1 This contemporary account records James's reaction: "No sooner did the young king see him, but in that hee was so neare allyed in bloud, of so renouned a Family...

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3. Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset

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pp. 65-97

In late March 1603 welcome news reached King James in Edinburgh: Queen Elizabeth had died, and he had been proclaimed King of England. With his wife, Anne of Denmark, and three children - Henry, Elizabeth, and Charles - he would soon begin his journey south to claim that for which he had thirsted for years: the English crown. He was headed for the Promised Land - or so it seemed. Having waited through Elizabeth's declining...

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4. George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

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pp. 98-144

No drooping marigold here; instead, George Villiers (1592-1628) arose, to shift the metaphor, phoenixlike from the ashes of Robert Carr's fall. The sun (king) continued to shine brightly; the marigold (Villiers) retained its beauty and its position. Balthasar Gerbier, an artist who assisted Buckingham in collecting art, wrote to him in Madrid on 25 March 1623: "The King with great affection has sent an express for the little portrait, a proof that the large and the real one is ever in his heart." 1...

TEXTS

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5. Letters of James and Buckingham

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pp. 147-219

This chapter offers a storehouse of the letters exchanged between King James and Buckingham. The letters appear together for the first time in the context of their shared love. Readers may judge for themselves the nature of this love and desire. Fortunately, G. P. V. Akrigg's edition of James's letters sets a high standard for accuracy...

6. Ane Metaphoricall Invention of a Tragedie Called Phoenix

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pp. 220-230

Notes

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pp. 231-240

Bibliography

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pp. 241-248

Index

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pp. 249-251