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Historiographical review: dreams or designs, cults or constructions? The study of images of monarchs

Hackett, H; (2001) Historiographical review: dreams or designs, cults or constructions? The study of images of monarchs. The Historical Journal , 44 (3) 811 - 823. 10.1017/S0018246X01002023. Green open access

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Abstract

This historiographical review surveys studies by cultural historians of images of monarchs, including Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I, and Victoria. These are not biographies, but analyses of the diverse and often contradictory representations of monarchs in their own times and afterwards. The review considers the variety of approaches in the field, from iconographical decoding to political history to the application of psychoanalysis to a national culture. It discusses the extent to which queens tend to be conflated to an enduring model of idealized femininity; how seriously we should take representations of monarchs as sacred; and the incorporation of sexuality in the royal image. It considers resistance as well as assent to the royal image, and how far the royal image as art object can become detached from the ideology which produced it. It concludes by observing our mixed motivations for interest in past ‘cults’ of monarchs, seeking in them at once the exotic difference of the past and comparisons with public figures of our own time.

Type: Article
Title: Historiographical review: dreams or designs, cults or constructions? The study of images of monarchs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0018246X01002023
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X01002023
Language: English
Additional information: © 2001 Cambridge University Press
Keywords: British history, British monarchs, cultural history, royal iconography, CONSTRUCTION, design, Images, review article
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/192015
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