Catalogue


Elizabeth I [electronic resource] : the competition for representation /
Susan Frye.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
description
xii, 228 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195113837 (Pbk.)
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
isbn
0195113837 (Pbk.)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8711522
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 195-216) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Susan Frye received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Wyoming
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-05:
Frye's excellent monograph is a study of the "conscious and unconscious strategies through which [Elizabeth I] worked to create an identity beyond accepted gender definitions." Frye is thus at pains to restore what she calls "agency" to the last of the Tudors. As the subtitle indicates, she avers that Elizabeth encountered "competition" for representation from male-oriented contemporaries who sought to define her--and all women--as passive, weak, and in need of defense. Frye explores the contest for representation by examining three episodes in the queen's reign: the London coronation entry of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the "tension" evinced by courtiers and artists in the last phase of the queen's life (c.1590). The truth of Frye's central argument, that Elizabeth succeeded in fashioning her own image for posterity, is asserted rather than demonstrated. Although laden with feminist and historicist jargon, the book draws on a multitude of original sources and succeeds in recontextualizing Elizabeth and the allegory that proved her most effective means of self-representation. Advanced undergraduates and above. D. R. Bisson; Belmont University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A densely argued, thoroughly scholarly work."--Renaissance Quarterly
"A densely argued, thoroughly scholarly work."--RenaissanceQuarterly
"Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation is an impressive book, substantial in length, wide-ranging in its primary and secondary scholarship, written with great clarity, and sophisticated in its theory. Her discoveries about the myth of Elizabeth's cross-dressing at Tilbury call intoquestion a goodly number of recent pronouncements about the gender instability inherent in that famous episode. Frye makes this a truly literary (rather than purely historical) study by focusing on Elizabeth's self-construction through language, and on corollary constructions by authors such asSpenser. Her explorations of allegory and of sexual violence are subtle and illuminating."--Linda Woodbridge, University of Alberta, Edmonton
"Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation is an impressive book,substantial in length, wide-ranging in its primary and secondary scholarship,written with great clarity, and sophisticated in its theory. Her discoveriesabout the myth of Elizabeth's cross-dressing at Tilbury call into question agoodly number of recent pronouncements about the gender instability inherent inthat famous episode. Frye makes this a truly literary (rather than purelyhistorical) study by focusing on Elizabeth's self-construction through language,and on corollary constructions by authors such as Spenser. Her explorations ofallegory and of sexual violence are subtle and illuminating."--Linda Woodbridge,University of Alberta, Edmonton
"Especially revealing of the mercantile interests involved in the construction of the Queen's image as she passed through the City of London to her coronation. A book with many good things in it, and the introduction especially is a lucid critique of and response to work in thefield."--Women's Studies
"Especially revealing of the mercantile interests involved in theconstruction of the Queen's image as she passed through the City of London toher coronation. A book with many good things in it, and the introductionespecially is a lucid critique of and response to work in the field."--Women'sStudies
"Excellent....The book draws on a multitude of original sources and succeeds in recontextualizing Elizabeth and the allegory that proved her most effective means of self-representation."--Choice
"Excellent....The book draws on a multitude of original sources andsucceeds in recontextualizing Elizabeth and the allegory that proved her mosteffective means of self-representation."--Choice
"Susan Frye's book is one of the single most useful studies of Elizabeth I's impact on her culture that I have yet read. Arguing that there was a 'competition' over the power to represent Elizabeth, Frye reads three moments of Elizabethan culture--the coronation progress, the Kenilworthpageants, and Busryane's masque at the end of Book III of The Faerie Queene--to show how Elizabeth continually had to contend with a male nation which continued to resist her female rule. Frye makes her arguments with great tact, learning, and not a little bit of daring."--Maureen Quilligan, Judithand Howard Steinberg Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
"Susan Frye's book is one of the single most useful studies of ElizabethI's impact on her culture that I have yet read. Arguing that there was a'competition' over the power to represent Elizabeth, Frye reads three moments ofElizabethan culture--the coronation progress, the Kenilworth pageants, andBusryane's masque at the end of Book III of The Faerie Queene--to show howElizabeth continually had to contend with a male nation which continued toresist her female rule. Frye makes her arguments with great tact, learning, andnot a little bit of daring."--Maureen Quilligan, Judith and Howard SteinbergProfessor of English, University of Pennsylvania
"Susan Frye's Elizabeth I is an exciting and original book, a richly detailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed her authority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes of analysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biographyand the intricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense of discovery."--Stephen Orgel, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Humanities, Stanford University
"Susan Frye's Elizabeth I is an exciting and original book, a richlydetailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed herauthority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes ofanalysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biography and theintricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense ofdiscovery."--Stephen Orgel, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Humanities,Stanford University
"Susan Frye's Elizabeth I is an exciting and original book, a richly detailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed her authority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes of analysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biography and the intricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense of discovery."--Stephen Orgel, Stanford University
"Susan Frye'sElizabeth Iis an exciting and original book, a richly detailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed her authority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes of analysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biography and the intricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense of discovery."--Stephen Orgel,Stanford University
"The book's strength...is in its complexity and subtlety, its deft handling of sophisticated historical analysis, its patient and often brilliant teasing-out of the multiple voices of some very difficult texts...[an] excellent study."--Shakespeare Quarterly
"The book's strength...is in its complexity and subtlety, its defthandling of sophisticated historical analysis, its patient and often brilliantteasing-out of the multiple voices of some very difficult texts...[an] excellentstudy."--Shakespeare Quarterly
"Excellent....The book draws on a multitude of original sources and succeeds in recontextualizing Elizabeth and the allegory that proved her most effective means of self-representation."--Choice"Susan Frye's Elizabeth I is an exciting and original book, a richly detailed discussion of the way the queen constructed her image and deployed her authority. The argument is indebted to feminist and new historicist modes of analysis, but it is primarily informed by a concern with biography and the intricacies of history. It offers the reader a continual sense of discovery."--Stephen Orgel, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Humanities, StanfordUniversity"Susan Frye's book is one of the single most useful studies of Elizabeth I's impact on her culture that I have yet read. Arguing that there was a 'competition' over the power to represent Elizabeth, Frye reads three moments of Elizabethan culture--the coronation progress, the Kenilworth pageants, and Busryane's masque at the end of Book III of The Faerie Queene--to show how Elizabeth continually had to contend with a male nation which continued toresist her female rule. Frye makes her arguments with great tact, learning, and not a little bit of daring."--Maureen Quilligan, Judith and Howard Steinberg Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania"Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation is an impressive book, substantial in length, wide-ranging in its primary and secondary scholarship, written with great clarity, and sophisticated in its theory. Her discoveries about the myth of Elizabeth's cross-dressing at Tilbury call into question a goodly number of recent pronouncements about the gender instability inherent in that famous episode. Frye makes this a truly literary (rather thanpurely historical) study by focusing on Elizabeth's self-construction through language, and on corollary constructions by authors such as Spenser. Her explorations of allegory and of sexual violence are subtle and illuminating."--Linda Woodbridge, University of Alberta, Edmonton"Especially revealing of the mercantile interests involved in the construction of the Queen's image as she passed through the City of London to her coronation. A book with many good things in it, and the introduction especially is a lucid critique of and response to work in the field."--Women's Studies"A densely argued, thoroughly scholarly work."--Renaissance Quarterly"The book's strength...is in its complexity and subtlety, its deft handling of sophisticated historical analysis, its patient and often brilliant teasing-out of the multiple voices of some very difficult texts...[an] excellent study."--Shakespeare Quarterly
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Little has been written on the manner in which Elizabeth I constructed her power in a patriarchal society. The author contends that she evolved a number of strategies by which she expressed her control of government through owning her own body.
Long Description
Elizabeth I is perhaps the most visible woman in early modern Europe, yet little attention has been paid to what she said about the difficulties of constructing her power in a patriarchal society. Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation examines her struggle for authority through the representation of her female body. Frye's method is to provide historical accounts of three representational crises spaced fifteen years apart: the London coronation entry of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the publication of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In ways which varied with social class and historical circumstance, the London merchants, the members of the Protestant faction, courtly artists and artful courtiers all sought to stabilize their own gendered identities by constructing the queen within the 'natural'definitions of feminine as passive and weak. Elizabeth fought back, acting as a discursive agent by crossing and then disrupting these definitions. She and those closely identified with her interests evolved a number of strategies through which to express her control of the government as the ownership of her body, including her elaborate iconography and a mythic biography upon which most accounts of Elizabeth's life have been based. The more authoritative her image became, the more violently it was contested in a process which this book examines and consciously perpetuates.
Main Description
Elizabeth I is perhaps the most visible woman in early modern Europe, yet little attention has been paid to what she said about the difficulties of constructing her power in a patriarchal society. This revisionist study examines her struggle for authority through the representation of herfemale body. Based on a variety of extant historical and literary materials, Frye's interpretation focuses on three representational crises spaced fifteen years apart: the London coronation of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the publication of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In wayswhich varied with social class and historical circumstance, the London merchants, the members of the Protestant faction, courtly artists, and artful courtiers all sought to stabilize their own gendered identities by constructing the queen within the "natural" definitions of the feminine as passiveand weak. Elizabeth fought back, acting as a discursive agent by crossing, and thus disrupting, these definitions. She and those closely identified with her interests evolved a number of strategies through which to express her political control in terms of the ownership of her body, including herelaborate iconography and a mythic biography upon which most accounts of Elizabeth's life have been based. The more authoritative her image became, the more vigorously it was contested in a process which this study examines and consciously perpetuates.
Main Description
Elizabeth I is perhaps the most visible woman in early modern Europe, yet little attention has been paid to what she said about the difficulties of constructing her power in a patriarchal society. This revisionist study examines her struggle for authority through the representation of her female body. Based on a variety of extant historical and literary materials, Frye's interpretation focuses on three representational crises spaced fifteen years apart: the London coronation of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the publication of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In ways which varied with social class and historical circumstance, the London merchants, the members of the Protestant faction, courtly artists, and artful courtiers all sought to stabilize their own gendered identities by constructing the queen within the "natural" definitions of the feminine as passive and weak. Elizabeth fought back, acting as a discursive agent by crossing, and thus disrupting, these definitions. She and those closely identified with her interests evolved a number of strategies through which to express her political control in terms of the ownership of her body, including her elaborate iconography and a mythic biography upon which most accounts of Elizabeth's life have been based. The more authoritative her image became, the more vigorously it was contested in a process which this study examines and consciously perpetuates.
Unpaid Annotation
The Competition for Representation emphasizes Elizabeth's self-creation and the process of contestation that this construction necessitated. It differs significantly from the wealth of material available on Elizabeth because instead of assuming either that Elizabeth was in full control of how she was represented or that she was controlled by the special-interest group surrounding her, my focus is the very issue of her agency. That is, I concentrate on Elizabeth's actions and words (as nearly as they can be determined) in order to ascertain the conscious and unconscious strategies through which she worked to created an identity beyond accepted gender definitions.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Who Represents Elizabeth?p. 3
Engendered Economics: Elizabeth I's Coronation Entry (1559)p. 22
Queen Mary as Pre-textp. 26
Sponsors, Authors, and Meaning in the Entries of Elizabeth and Jamesp. 30
Allegory, Instability, and Material Practicep. 33
Elizabeth's Early Self-representationp. 36
The Sexual Economy of the Passagep. 40
Truth, the Daughter of the Signifierp. 43
Profits and Representationsp. 48
Engendering Policy at Kenilworth (1575)p. 56
Ambition and Policyp. 57
Kenilworth's Two Textsp. 61
The Terms of the Visitp. 65
A Proposal of Marriagep. 70
Elizabeth's Imprisonmentp. 72
A "Military Skirmish" and Questions of Policy in the Netherlandsp. 78
"By soveraigne maidens might"p. 86
Elizabeth, Dudley, and the Competition for Representationp. 92
Engendered Violence: Elizabeth, Spenser, and the Definitions of Chastity (1590)p. 97
Turning Sixty in the 1590sp. 98
The Queen's Presencep. 104
Elizabeth's Later Strategies of Self-representationp. 107
Spenser and the Definitions of Chastityp. 114
Love, Magic, and the Female Audiencep. 120
The Topography of Threat and Rapep. 124
"So cruelly to pen": Denying Rape and Having It, Toop. 128
Spenser and Busiranep. 132
Captivity: Essex and the Queenp. 135
Captivity: Sidney, Spenser, and the Queenp. 139
Epilogue: Reading Elizabeth Readingp. 144
Notesp. 149
Selected Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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