Thomas Howells (Oxford), The Face of a Queen and the Mind of a King: The Personification of England 1586–1625

I propose a paper that examines the contrast between the contemporary use of Elizabeth I and James I’s portraits as tools for the representation and development of political thought at turn of the 17th Century. By exploring the myriad and diverse uses of the image of Elizabeth I, the paper will establish how her portrait was abstracted and utilised as an expressive political tool, not only in England, but also in the Dutch Republic. The discussion will consider the political communities and the conceptual structures that her image was used to represent, and the manner of her representation (whether as her self, or in the guise of a different character). The intention is to demonstrate that during the latter years of her rule, the use of Elizabeth Tudor’s image was wide spread, as was the recognition that the English monarch could represent more than the condition of her self and her own kingdom. Continue reading