Imaginary Betrayals: Subjectivity and the Discourses of Treason in Early Modern England
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013 M05 29 - 224 páginas
In 1352 King Edward III had expanded the legal definition of treason to include the act of imagining the death of the king, opening up the category of "constructive" treason, in which even a subject's thoughts might become the basis for prosecution. By the sixteenth century, treason was perceived as an increasingly serious threat and policed with a new urgency. Referring to the extensive early modern literature on the subject of treason, Imaginary Betrayals reveals how and to what extent ideas of proof and grounds for conviction were subject to prosecutorial construction during the Tudor period. Karen Cunningham looks at contemporary records of three prominent cases in order to demonstrate the degree to which the imagination was used to prove treason: the 1542 attainder of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, charged with having had sexual relations with two men before her marriage; the 1586 case of Anthony Babington and twelve confederates, accused of plotting with the Spanish to invade England and assassinate Elizabeth; and the prosecution in the same year of Mary, Queen of Scots, indicted for conspiring with Babington to engineer her own accession to the throne.
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... Affiliation, and Rootlessness 77 4 Secrecy and the Epistolary Self 110 Conclusion 141 Notes 145 Works Cited 187 Index 203 Acknowledgments 215 This page intentionally lefi blank Introduction Think not the King Contents.
Subjectivity and the Discourses of Treason in Early Modern England Karen Cunningham. This page intentionally lefi blank Introduction Think not the King doth banish thee, But thou.
Introduction Think not the King doth banish thee, But thou the King. . . . SHAKESPEARE, RichardII Whether we look to government records, to legal histories, or to theatrical representations, we find ample evidence that treason was ...
... trials.5 Since treason was defined as compassing the king's death in the imagination, trying a person for the crime would mean discovering or constructing an inward truth as it was manifest in the character and words of the accused.
... of a limited monarchy relied on two key ideas: “the notion that the king derived his power from the commonwealth, not immediately from God, and that the king and people were bound by reciprocal conditions,” effectively an early ...
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