Images of the courtier in Elizabethan England

Partridge, Mary (2008). Images of the courtier in Elizabethan England. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis evaluates cultural constructs of the courtier in Elizabethan England. It focuses particularly on Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier. The Courtier is generally recognised as one of the most influential texts in Renaissance Europe. It was originally published in Venice in 1528; the first English translation was produced by Thomas Hoby in 1561. This thesis aims to provide an integrated analysis of Castiglione’s contribution to English political culture throughout the second half of the sixteenth century. It considers the circumstances in which Hoby translated the Courtier, and his motives for doing so. It identifies two distinct models of courtliness delineated by the Urbino interlocutors, and assesses the extent to which these models influenced the self-presentation of leading Elizabethan politicians. The thesis also engages with negative characterisations of the courtier. In particular, it examines the adaptation of traditional anti-courtier discourse to voice new concerns about the nature and legitimacy of court politics towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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