• Frances Quarles’ Early Poetry and the Discourses of Jacobean Spenserianism

    Adrian Streete
    English poetry, European literature--Renaissance, English literature--Early modern, English poetry--Early modern, Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599, James I, King of England, 1566-1625
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    Frances Quarles
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    [opening paragraph:] Early in 1621, King James was obliged to recall parliament for the first time in seven years. He took this action in response to the outbreak of war in Bohemia the year previously, a crisis that had already spread to neighbouring states in central Europe.[1] These events had been precipitated by the less than politic actions of James’ son in law, Frederick, Elector Palatine. In 1619, and against his father in law’s advice, he acquiesced in the deposition of the Catholic ruler of Bohemia, Ferdinand. Frederick assumed the crown and restored Protestant rule to Bohemia. These actions had a number of consequences. First, Frederick antagonised the dual forces of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, whose response was swift and decisive. Frederick’s army was ignominiously defeated outside Prague in 1620, a number of his commanders were sentenced to death in Prague Castle, and those who managed to escape joined the erstwhile Elector and his wife Elizabeth in exile in Holland. Second, and more pressingly, the crisis threatened to undermine the negotiations taking place for a marriage between James’ son, Charles, and the Spanish Infanta. The fact that James’s foreign policy was recognised across Europe as being assiduously and consistently based on the guiding principle of political pacifism made Frederick’s actions all the more provocative.[2] In England, the issue of how best to respond to the crisis divided opinion. [...]
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    1 year ago


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