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The Elizabeth Icon, 1603-2003
 
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The Elizabeth Icon, 1603-2003
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
25 Nov 2003
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£61.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9781403911995
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Surveying four-hundred years of British history, Walker examines how the memory - the icon - of Queen Elizabeth has been used as a marker for Englishness in disputes political and social, in art, literature, and popular culture. Dead at the beginning of the modern age, Elizabeth was the first monarch familiar and powerful enough to exist visually in the public memory. Consequently, not only her name, but her image could be annexed and deployed to further political agendas - sometimes both sides of hot-button debates - to justify imperialism, to sell biscuits, support votes for women, deter spies in the Great War, critique both the coronation and the public rhetoric surrounding the second Elizabeth, and to market the idea of a England that exists nowhere but the public imagination. Unlike the relatively pristine public canvas of Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth's multitude of accomplishments, from her learning to her political acumen, has allowed popularizers a myriad of choices for packaging her icon. The flip side is that, just as everyone has his or her own Diana, everyone has her or his own Elizabeth icon


Description

Surveying four-hundred years of British history, Walker examines how the memory - the icon - of Queen Elizabeth has been used as a marker for Englishness in disputes political and social, in art, literature, and popular culture. Dead at the beginning of the modern age, Elizabeth was the first monarch familiar and powerful enough to exist visually in the public memory. Consequently, not only her name, but her image could be annexed and deployed to further political agendas - sometimes both sides of hot-button debates - to justify imperialism, to sell biscuits, support votes for women, deter spies in the Great War, critique both the coronation and the public rhetoric surrounding the second Elizabeth, and to market the idea of a England that exists nowhere but the public imagination. Unlike the relatively pristine public canvas of Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth's multitude of accomplishments, from her learning to her political acumen, has allowed popularizers a myriad of choices for packaging her icon. The flip side is that, just as everyone has his or her own Diana, everyone has her or his own Elizabeth icon


Reviews


'This book deals strikingly with the importance of memory and how the different recollections of Elizabeth I open up new ways of understanding English politics and culture from the Seventeenth-century to our own. Walker examines numerous representations and writes in a conversational style that will be accessible to a wide-ranging audience.' - Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA

'Julia Walker's The Elizabeth Icon is not just a scholarly tour de force - it is also critically innovative in its exploration of changing memorialisations of the Virgin Queen. Walker brings a new level of intellectual understanding and clarity to her analysis of a crucial yet neglected element within British historical self-consciousness: the changing reception and transmission of ideas of individual monarchs. In this compelling study, she shows how a series of cultural as well as historical contingencies have contributed to the changing definition of a key emblem, not simply of British monarchy, but also, more generally, of Britain itself.' - Fellow and Director of Studies in English, King's College, Cambridge University
 
'Walker's topic is broad: a cultural history of Elizabeth's image since her death. It is enjoyably omnivorous in scope, taking in children's novels, the War of Jenkins's ear, engravings, teapots, plays, Punch cartoons and film, and sashaying into eBay, the future of archival research and weapons of mass destruction.' - Women: A Cultural Review


Contents

Introduction
1603-1660: The Shadow of the Rainbow
1660-1714: The Shadow of Divine Right
1714-1910: The Shadow of 'once upon a time...'
1910-1952: The Shadow of History
1952-2003: The Shadow of the Imagination
Index


Authors

JULIA M. WALKER is Professor of English and Women's Studies at the State University of New York at Geneseo, and the editor of Milton and the Idea of Woman (1988), Dissing Elizabeth (1998), and the author of Medusa's Mirrors: Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and the Metamorphosis of the Female Self (1998). She received the Milton Society's Hanford Award for the Most Distinguished Milton Essay of 1997.