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By Sarah Duncan (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137047909

ISBN-13: 9781137047908

ISBN-10: 1349343846

ISBN-13: 9781349343843

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Additional info for Mary I: Gender, Power, and Ceremony in the Reign of England’s First Queen

Example text

Many of the initial questions about Mary’s right to rule did not focus exclusively—or even directly—on her gender. Because the rival claimants to the throne after the death of Edward VI were all female, those who opposed Mary’s claim had to find grounds other than her sex to justify thwarting her accession. Her Protestant opponents attacked her on the grounds of her illegitimacy and her Catholicism. ”2 38 Mary I Nicholas Ridley, bishop of London, echoed this argument in his sermon preached on July 16, 1553, at St.

Crowning a female monarch in her own right was unprecedented, so no ceremony existed to crown a queen regnant. The symbolic transfer of power had always been from king to king, from male to male; the ceremony was gender specific and male oriented. Mary may have processed in the guise of a queen consort, but she was crowned as a king. In addition, the ceremony reinforced the idea that monarchical authority was masculine in nature: in ceremonial terms, therefore, the ruler’s gender was irrelevant.

This was a pictorial representation of what the queen’s supporters believed to be the divine justification of Mary’s right to rule. 58 According to this paradigm, the angels crown Mary queen of heaven as well as queen on earth. On the right of the portrait, four horsemen have laid down their arms and surrendered to a large army in the background, symbolizing Northumberland’s defeat and Mary’s victory as a military leader: her accession may have been miraculous, but it occurred because of a show of arms.

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Mary I: Gender, Power, and Ceremony in the Reign of England’s First Queen by Sarah Duncan (auth.)


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