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Elizabeth I: An Old Testament King

  • Susan Doran
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

Representations of Elizabeth as the Old Testament heroines, Deborah, Esther, Jael, and Judith, have been widely explored, thanks to the pioneering work of Professor John King.1 It is now well understood how these biblical figures were used both to counter attacks on the legitimacy of female rule and to provide exemplars of godly conduct to a Protestant queen. Much less fully appreciated, I think, is the extent and variety of associations made between Elizabeth and a long line of male prophets, judges, and kings in the Hebrew Bible: David, Gideon, Elias, Hezekiah, Joseph, Joshua, Josiah, Moses, Saul, Solomon, and more besides.2 Scholars, moreover, seem not to have noticed that while biblical women tended to drop out of the contemporary literature after Thomas Bentley’s Monument of Matrones in 1582, Protestant writers, preachers, and politicians continued to draw between Elizabeth I and male biblical parallels between Elizabeth I and male biblical figures—especially David and Solomon—until the queen’s death.3

Keywords

Succession Issue Henry VIII Supreme Authority True Religion Prayer Book 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    John King, “The Godly Woman in Elizabethan Iconography,” RQ 38 (1985): 41–84 and Tudor Royal Iconography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 105–6, 153–4, 234–5.Google Scholar
  2. See also Alexandra Walsham, “‘A Very Deborah?’ The Myth of Elizabeth I as a Providential Monarch,” in The Myth of Elizabeth, ed. Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 143–68.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    King makes brief references, as does Margret Christian, “Elizabeth’s Preachers and the Government of Women,” SCJ 24 (1993): 561–76.Google Scholar
  4. Two recent essays look at male representation but in a limited number of texts and from a gendered perspective: Michelle Osherow, “‘A Poore Shepherde and his Slinge:’ A Biblical Model for a Renaissance Queen,” in Elizabeth I: Always Her Own Free Woman, ed. Carole Levin, Jo Eldridge Carney, and Debra Barrett-Graves (Burlington, VT Ashgate, 2003), 119–30;Google Scholar
  5. Linda S. Shenk, “Queen Solomon,” in Queens and Rower in Medieval and Early Modern England, ed. Carole Levin and Robert Bucholz (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009), 98–125.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Sapientia Solomonis … , ed. Elizabeth Rogers Payne (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938), especially 53, 129.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Proceedings in the Parliaments of Elizabeth I, ed. T. E. Hartley, 3 vols. (Leicester: University of Leicester Press, 1981), II: 252.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    Published in 1585, the sermon is usually considered a response to either the Throckmorton or Babington Plot, but Kathryn Murphy has convincingly argued that it was written just after the Ridolfi Plot: “The Date of Edwin Sandys’ Paul’s Cross Sermon,” Notes and Queries 53 (2006): 430–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 17.
    John Foxe, Acts and Monumentes (1576), Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Variorum Edition Online, 2007.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    The Selected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, ed. Margaret P. Hannay, Noel J. Kinnamon and Michael G. Brennan (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005), 159–63 (11. 54, 66, 70, 74, 104, 80).Google Scholar
  11. 22.
    Margaret P. Hannay, “ ‘Princes You as Men Must Dy’: Genevan Advice to Monarchs in the Psalms of Mary Sidney,” ELR 19 (1989): 22–41.Google Scholar
  12. 30.
    Hartley (ed.), Proceedings, II: 217. See also Peter E. MacCulloch, “Out of Egypt: Richard Fletcher’s Sermon before Elizabeth I after the Execution of Mary Queen of Scots” in Dissing Elizabeth, ed. Julia M. Walker (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 134.Google Scholar
  13. 50.
    George Peele, The love of King David and fair Bethsabe, ed. W. W. Greg, Malone Society (London, 1912).Google Scholar
  14. 51.
    James P. Carley, King Henry’s Prayer Book: Commentary (London: Folio Society, 2009).Google Scholar
  15. 53.
    Margaret Hannay, “‘So may I with the Psalmist truly say’: Early Modern Englishwomen’s Psalm Discourse,” in Write or Be Written, ed. Barbara Smith and Ursula Appelt (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 107, 111.Google Scholar
  16. 54.
    Susan Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Doran

There are no affiliations available

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