Sonnets and the English Woman Writer, 1560–1621: The Politics of Absence

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Although initially accepted, this proposal was later renounced by the Scots. In retaliation, Henry waged a war on Scotland known as The Rough Wooing, in which his soldiers burned and looted in a series of invasions designed to force the Scots to adhere to the terms of the treaty. During this time, Mary was kept under constant protection and remained in the company of her mother for fear that she would be abducted and removed to England. Shortly after, Mary set sail for France, where she was to be brought up at the French court in preparation for her future marriage.

At a succession of royal residences in France, Mary Stuart, alongside the French royal children, received a humanist education with instruction in Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish and French, with Mary showing particular talent in music, dancing, singing, needlework and horsemanship. Her education also served to ensure her that she knew her place within the palace hierarchy.

Retha M. Three weeks previous to her marriage, she signed a set of secret documents bequeathing her Scottish throne to the French if she were to die childless, along with her claim to the throne of England. In addition to this, the French king would have all the Scottish crown revenues until his debts incurred through military support for the Scots and in bringing up Mary were repaid. A final document gave assurances that these documents were legal and could not be overturned by past or future agreements, cementing the Scottish and French alliance against England.


Later that same year on 17 November, Elizabeth I became Queen of England, but the disputed status of her birth resulted in the French court regarding Elizabeth as illegitimate and therefore unable to inherit the English crown. Henri II immediately announced that his daughter-in-law, Mary Queen of Scots, was the legitimate Queen of England and a new coat of arms was created for her that placed the arms of England alongside those of Scotland and France.

The year of was characterised by two crucial bereavements. Mary donned the white mourning clothes that were traditional in France and observed the usual mourning rituals, spending 40 days in a darkened room.

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With the French having no further political use or symbolic roles for Mary to fulfil, and a marriage proposal thwarted by the Regent Queen, Mary ceased to use the English arms and title and made plans to return to Scotland. To add to the religious difficulties she faced, her relations with Queen Elizabeth I of England were strained, as was the relationship with her own nobles, who had in effect ruled in her absence since the death of her mother.

Elizabeth, who was well acquainted to hostility surrounding her birthright as queen, had good reason to be suspicious of her cousin, given her earlier, public claims to the English throne. During this time, amongst much political upheaval within Scotland, Mary was occupied also with finding a suitable candidate for marriage. Following the death of her first husband Mary determined that her honour would be best served by marrying another prince, with one early candidate being Don Carlos, the Spanish heir. This potential match, along with several others, did not eventuate and no husband was secured.

Mary may have been prepared to marry Leicester, but only on the condition that Elizabeth promised legislation naming her the heir apparent of England, a condition Elizabeth refused to meet. The marriage seems to have been happy at first, but Darnley was widely reputed as being vain, arrogant, ambitious, foolish, jealous, and dissatisfied with his position as king consort. This resulted in Mary refusing to petition parliament to bestow on him the crown matrimonial, as she had previously promised.

Aggrieved at not being a king in his own right and not sharing power equally with Mary, he viewed this refusal as a deprivation of his position as the head of his household. The result of these machinations was a plot that saw Rizzio deliberately murdered in the presence of Mary while she was six months pregnant. Mary was then held captive by her husband and a group of nobles, whose stated aim was to acquire the crown for Darnley and to uphold the Protestant religion. During her captivity, Mary convinced her husband that his own prospects were as bleak as hers under the new regime, and the two of them escaped, travelling by horse to Dunbar Castle.

Although Mary reconciled temporarily with her husband, relations between them continued to be strained, and Mary remained convinced that the conspiracy had threatened her life and that of her then unborn son. Darnley refused to accompany the queen as she travelled through the Borders to dispense justice, and Mary began discussions with her nobles about the possibility of divorce.

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Once the body was examined, however, it was found to be uninjured by the explosion and it became apparent that Darnley had been murdered, possibly by asphyxiation, and the lodgings blown up either as a part of the murder plot or to ensure no incriminating evidence survived. Bothwell did face court on 12 April , but was acquitted in a trial that several commentators suggest was unfair. The following day, Mary travelled to Stirling Castle to visit her son.

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    Parker London: Clarke, , 13— Interestingly, the inscription identifies the book itself as a gift to Henry Lock from his wife Anne, and as such does not securely identify the translator to be Anne Lock. North, Anonymous Renaissance, Hyder Rollins, ed. Judith M. Margaret J. Wall, Imprint of Gender, 17, 23—31, 50— Laing, Works, 6: 11— Taffin, Des Marques , A2r, Taffin, Des Marques , 1v. Jean Taffin, De Merck-teeckenen der kinderen Godt, trans. Iacobvs Viverivs Rotterdam, , 54r—58r.

    Anne Prowse, trans. The second and third impressions were published in London in and Cambridge, MS Ii. Susan M. Isaiah 3. Clarke, Politics, John N. The manuscript of the translation bears in a second hand, under the initials E. Ruth Hughey, ed. Corti, Terence Cave, Devotional Poetry in France, c.

    See Summit, Lost Property, 8— For a discussion of the practice and parameters of such counsel, see A.

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    Wallace T. CSP 1 —59 , — Abraham Hartwell, London, printed in J. McLaren, Political Culture, 54— Mary E. Burke et al. Edward Dering was suspended from preaching after he delivered a sermon at court before Elizabeth in February , indicting the clergy and criticizing Elizabeth for inaction in the face of their corruption. Stanley E. Porter Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, , — Carl J. Rebholz, Works, — The copytext for the psalm paraphrased and included in part at the margin of each sonnet corresponds most closely to the Genevan psalter published by Jean Crespin, although at points the text in the margins diverges from the version and corresponds to the 51st Psalm printed in the Genevan Bible of In the final four sonnets, however, where the paraphrase deviates from the words of the psalm and previous paraphrases most significantly, the text of the psalm is a close translation of the Genevan psalter.

    Peter C.

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    Lisa Hopkins and Mary E. Like Betty Travitsky, neither Hopkins nor Burke discuss the attribution debate fully, but use selective evidence to support Notes 4. By contrast, Peter C. Cambridge, MS Oo. While possible, the argument needs development — it cannot rest on material proximity to other documents alone, and his assumptions about authorial intention are necessarily speculative.

    The print source might equally have been the copytext for the manuscript, and Davidson does not discuss the possibility that the Scots marginals were not contemporary, but added to explicate and identify a biographical context after the event. He was followed by M. Armstrong McFarlane, Buchanan, The Copie of a Letter written by one in London to his frend concernyng the credit of the late published detection of doyinges of the Ladie Marie of Scotland n.

    A iii r. McLaren, Political Culture, — Buchanan, Ane Detectiovn, R3r.

    English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

    All subsequent references are to this edition. Leah S. John D.

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