Queen Elizabeth and the Power and Language of the Gift
Gift exchanges in the early modern period often had much to do with power. This is especially true in the gift exchanges between Elizabeth I and other women both before she became queen and throughout her reign. This essay analyses such exchanges between Elizabeth and her sister Mary I, her cousin Mary Stuart, and the female relatives of the Earl of Essex at the end of her reign. While the material objects in this essay focus on clothing and jewelry, there is a further argument that the most important gifts offered, asked for, accepted or refused were not objects at all, but promises and advice.