The cultural impact of an Elizabethan courtier

Edited by Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins



  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9354-2
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: April 2016
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Literature, Literary studies: general, Literary studies: c 1400 to c 1600, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical, LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance, Biography & True Stories / Biography: historical, political & military, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800


This collection of new essays about the earl of Essex, one of the most important figures of the Elizabethan court, resituates his life and career within the richly diverse contours of his cultural and political milieu. It identifies the ways in which his biography has been variously interpreted both during his own lifetime and since his death in 1601. Collectively, the essays examine a wealth of diverse visual and textual manifestations of Essex: poems, portraits, films; texts produced by Essex himself, including private letters, prose tracts, poems and entertainments; and the transmission and circulation of these as a means of disseminating his political views.

As well as prising open long-held assumptions about the earl's life, the authors provide a diachronic approach to the earl's career, identifying crucial events such as the Irish campaign and the uprising, and re-evaluating their significance and critical reception. Collectively, the essays illuminate the reach and significance of the many roles played by the earl and the impact of his brief, dazzling life on his contemporaries and on those who came after, making this the first volume to offer a comprehensive critical overview of the Earl's life and influence.


I Essex: Patron and patronage
1. 'Cleverly playing the stoic': the Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and surviving Elizabeth's court - Richard Wood
2. Essexianism and the work of Gervase Markham - Matthew Steggle
3. Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, and the practice of theatre - Grace Ioppolo
4. Essex's international agenda in 1595 and his device of the Indian prince - Linda Shenk
II Self-fashioning
5. 'Achilles alter': the heroic lives and afterlives of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex - Andrew Hiscock
6. 'Bringing rebellion broached on his sword': Essex and Ireland - Willy Maley and Chris Butler
7. Essex's last campaign: the fall of the Earl of Essex and manuscript circulation - Andrew Gordon
8. 'Idle papers': an apology of the Earl of Essex - Hugh Gazzard
9. 'Toucht with bolt of treason': the Earl of Essex and Lady Penelope Rich - Chris Laoutaris
10. The Earl of Essex and 'politic history' - Alexandra Gajda
III Afterlives
11. Prodigality and the Earl of Essex - Mary Partridge
12. The Earl of Essex and the Duke of Windsor: Elizabeth and Essex on film - Lisa Hopkins


Annaliese Connolly is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Sheffield Hallam University

Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University

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