Monarchy, Print Culture, and Reverence in Early Modern England: Picturing Royal Subjects

1st Edition

Stephanie E. Koscak

March 18, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 448 Pages - 71 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367374594 - CAT# K442821
Series: Routledge Studies in Eighteenth-Century Cultures and Societies


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This study examines how the emergent public sphere and the rapid expansion of visual and textual print impacted the monarchy and loyalism in England between the execution of Charles I and the accession of George II. Utilizing a contextualized and interdisciplinary analysis of visual and material objects and new approaches to textual materiality, it argues that the political endurance and popular appeal of the crown is in part explained by its sophisticated incorporation within cultures of commerce and print that materialized affective bonds between sovereigns and subjects. Koscak demonstrates that images, including emblematic iconography, portrait prints, hanging signs, graphic satire, and playing cards, were fundamental components of later Stuart and early Hanoverian political culture and the public sphere. Despite the fractious nature of party politics, the commercial stigma of the press, and instabilities of partisan meaning, royal texts and images facilitated dynamic and flexible cultures of allegiance. Books, pictures, and material objects invited interpretation and enchantment, and they were treated as repositories of domestic memory, national history, and political reverence.

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