The Royalist reader in the English Revolution
This thesis offers an interpretation of Royalist literature of the first civil war. It particularly addresses the importance of spatial metaphors and material realities to loyalist notions of identity and meaning.I illustrate how royalist space was predicated upon scientific and mathematical notions of authority and hierarchy, and how this sense of 'absolute space' inflected royalist conceptions of a variety of other locations: gender, society, language, the public. The thesis traces how Charles attempted to use economic, political and juridical measures to create a context in which he could impose certain sociospatial relations and structures of identity. Proclamations and royal protocols polemically reconfigured the institutional life of the country. Licensing of the presses provided a controlled textual mediation of information and fostered particular definitions of national identity. Against this background discourse Charles and his court created a model of Royalism which inflected and created social relations and in particular notions of allegiance. Modes of behaviour that seemed outside the bounds of institutionally and socially defined normality were caricatured as external, alien and other. The model of Royalism I postulate throws into new relief studies of Parliamentary texts, and restructures our thinking about allegiance, text and identity during the Civil War period. My thesis falls into two sections. The opening two chapters establish the material contexts and constraints of publication during the war. Chapter one looks in depth at the relocation of the court within the city of Oxford, considering the institutional and political manifestations of this movement. Chapter two analyses censorship and licensing, circulation and the status of text. The second part of the thesis considers a wide variety of texts published at Oxford, considering specific modes (panegyric, elegy) and forms (speeches, satires, epic, topographical verse). These works are analysed by reference to the contexts outlined in the opening section. By considering tracts, newsbooks, sermons, institutional reform, painting, poetry, hitherto unconsidered manuscript material, political theory, translation and linguistic textbooks I contextualise in depth and further our understanding of Royalist culture.