England's Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy

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Oxford University Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 348 pages
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No monarch is more glamorous or more controversial than Elizabeth I. The stories by which successive generations have sought to extol, explain, or excoriate Elizabeth supply a rich index to the cultural history of English nationalism - whether they represent her as Anne Boleyn's suffering orphan or as the implacable nemesis of Mary, Queen of Scots, as learned stateswoman or as frustrated lover, persecuted princess or triumphant warrior queen. This book examines the many afterlives the Virgin Queen has lived in drama, poetry, fiction, painting, propaganda, and the cinema over the four centuries since her death, from the aspiringly epic to the frankly kitsch. Exploring the Elizabeths of Shakespeare and Spenser, of Sophia Lee and Sir Walter Scott, of Bette Davis and of Glenda Jackson, of Shakespeare in Love and Blackadder II, this is a lively, lavishly-illustrated investigation of England's perennial fascination with a queen who is still engaged in a posthumous progress through the collective pysche of her country.

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About the author (2004)

Michael Dobson is Professor of Renaissance Drama, University of Surrey, Roehampton. He is the author of The Making of the National Poet (OUP, 1992) and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (OUP, 2001).

Nicola J. Watson is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University. She is the author of Revolution and the Form of the British Novel, 1790-1825 (OUP, 1994).

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