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'Some out of Vanity will call Her the Queene of Heaven': Iconography of the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in post-Reformation England, 1580-1616

Grindlay, EJ; (2013) 'Some out of Vanity will call Her the Queene of Heaven': Iconography of the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in post-Reformation England, 1580-1616. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis aims to conceptualise the Virgin through a focus on post-Reformation representations of her bodily assumption and coronation as Queen of Heaven. The Reformation’s emphasis on the Word was a driving force behind a diminishing of significance of the Virgin, underpinning a shift in perception of her image from Heaven’s Queen to humble handmaid. This thesis will show how in spite of its eradication from state-approved liturgy, iconography of the assumption and coronation of the Virgin continued to be of cultural significance. Through historicised close reading of works by writers from a range of confessional standpoints, it will show how these contentious aspects of Mariology aroused powerful and complex responses in post-Reformation England. The timescale of the thesis commences midway through the reign of Elizabeth I, in the year that marked the start of the Jesuit mission, and finishes midway through the reign of James I, in a year which saw the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales. Thematically rather than chronologically structured, the thesis itself journeys on a spectrum of faith, encompassing views that range from Protestant polemicist to Jesuit Catholic. It will show how iconography of the assumption and coronation was symptomatic of the continued confessional complexity of post-Reformation England. The thesis commences with two chapters exploring oppositional representations of the Virgin as Queen of Heaven in Protestant writing. Chapters focusing on individual voices follow: Elizabeth Cary, the writers of recusant rosary books, Sir John Harington, Henry Constable and Robert Southwell. In a variety of ways, both oblique and direct, these writers engaged with images of the Virgin’s assumption and coronation, and their representation of the Virgin’s image reflects cultural and political as well as religious concerns.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: 'Some out of Vanity will call Her the Queene of Heaven': Iconography of the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in post-Reformation England, 1580-1616
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1414311
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