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History in the Making: the Case of Samuel Rowley’s When You See Me You Know Me (1604/5)

  • Teresa Grant
Chapter
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Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)

Abstract

The deliberate attempts of the Stuart kings to define their rule of reunited Britannia as the fulfilment of all past history seems to have been partly prompted by their anxieties about the effectiveness of post facto Tudor propaganda. The early years of James I’s reign did include a short honeymoon, but the inevitable comparisons with Queen Elizabeth subtly, and increasingly, undermined his validity as man and monarch, because he was obviously much less good at being Elizabeth than she had been herself. This propaganda on behalf of the now-dead Tudors was curiously widespread, particularly in non-courtly circles, including on the public stage of the period.1 The Tudor monarchs Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I are severally represented in six plays written between 1602 and 1611: Sir Thomas Wyatt (pr. 1607), the two parts of If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody (pr. 1605 and 1606), When You See Me You Know Me (pr. 1605), The Whore of Babylon (pr. 1607) and Henry VIII (perf. 1612/13). The citizen dramatists were working to a different remit from those historians, such as William Camden, more nearly concerned with the Jacobean court.2 Not only did their dramatizations need to work as plays, but they were also going to be played in front of a London audience notable for its strong Protestantism, relative to other sections of English society.

Keywords

Oxford Dictionary Henry VIII Court Performance Loeb Classical Library Charles Versus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Teresa Grant 2008

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  • Teresa Grant

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