The Face of Queenship: Early Modern Representations of Elizabeth I

Hardcover | May 15, 2010

byAnna Riehl

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The Face of Queenship investigates the aesthetic, political, and gender-related meanings in representations of Elizabeth I by her contemporaries. By attending to eyewitness reports, poetry, portraiture, and discourses on beauty and cosmetics, this book shows how the portrayals of the queen’s face register her contemporaries’ hopes, fears, hatreds, mockeries, rivalries, and awe. In its application of theories of the meaning of the face and its exploration of the early modern representation and interpretation of faces, this study argues that the face was seen as a rhetorical tool and that Elizabeth was a master of using her face to persuade, threaten, or comfort her subjects.  

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The Face of Queenship investigates the aesthetic, political, and gender-related meanings in representations of Elizabeth I by her contemporaries. By attending to eyewitness reports, poetry, portraiture, and discourses on beauty and cosmetics, this book shows how the portrayals of the queen’s face register her contemporaries’ hopes, fea...

Anna Riehl is an Assistant Professor of English at Auburn University. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research has been sponsored by American Association of University Women’s Educational Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, English-Speaking Union Scholarship, the University Fellowship at the University ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:266 pages, 8.33 × 5.76 × 0.85 inPublished:May 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230614957

ISBN - 13:9780230614956

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Table of Contents

Plain Queen, Gorgeous King: Tudor Royal Faces * “Let nature paint your beauty’s glory”: Beauty and Cosmetics * Meeting the Queen: Documentary Accounts * “Mirrors more than one”: Elizabeth’s Literary Faces * Portraiture: The Painted Texts of Elizabeth’s Faces * PART I: ELIZABETH AND HILLIARD * PART II: AUGMENTING THE CANON

Editorial Reviews

“Riehl's brilliant and sophisticated book shows that Elizabeth's portraits were as carefully constructed in her time to deal with questions of state policy and personal vanity as Hollywood's image has been for our consumption. This is an original book for scholars of English literature, art, and social history.”--Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Emory University"No previous scholar has captured the ambiguity, not just of Elizabeth’s self-presentation, but of her very identity in such a compelling way. Previous scholarship skirts an impasse between scholars who see Elizabeth as the intersection of limiting and empowering discourses and others who see her as the apex of all power structures within her realm. Whereas one party sees her as the ultimate object of history, the other sees her as its ultimate subject. For Riehl, Elizabeth is both and neither. The Elizabeth that she brings to us is the perennial focus of historical, literary, and art historical investigations precisely because she resists definitive treatment. In a sense, Riehl suggests that Elizabeth’s sheer unknowability is what keeps us all—scholars, casual readers, and cinemagoers—coming back to her."—John Watkins, Professor of English, University of Minnesota“This luminous and wonderfully inventive study of Elizabeth’s face, in all its many legendary and historical metamorphoses—in person and on the page, stage, and canvas—shows that for a monarch, especially a female monarch, the face was the locus where power and personality were constructed and challenged, where beauty was fashioned and eternized, where imperfections were discerned and concealed, where meaning was made and judgments formed, as surely as a smile flashes or a shadow darkens.”--Ilona Bell, Samuel Fessenden Clarke Professor of English, Williams College