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Title: Royal representations in print : Charles II and the Exclusion Crisis
Author: Gifford, G. D. W.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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The King as figure and image represented in polemical literature is the central focus of the present research. This offers a study in the semiotics of royal representation: a deciphering or de-coding of its imagery, symbolism and iconicity. From the creation of meaning displayed in these representational constructs, a new examination becomes possible of the mechanisms by which the concept and image of kingly power was being re-projected and received at a critical moment of English history. Printed propaganda reveals the King, in his ‘two bodies’, to have been the nerve-point around which a whole constellation of political arguments, powerful emotional stimuli and evocations of national memory, were conjured up and deployed in persuasion and struggle. Tracing representations of the King through the period 1678-83 establishes not only how the language of printed propaganda developed over the period; it also reveals, more surprisingly, a permanent process of oblique or lateral reference which goes to the heart of the quest for national and cultural identity in this period. Similar methodological approaches have been applied fruitfully in research treating Louis XIV and Oliver Cromwell; yet the present study is the first of this type to have been carried out in relation to Charles II and, via this central icon, used to renew our understanding of the Exclusion crisis itself. Beyond this, my thesis, it is hoped, makes a genuine contribution to our wider insight about the character of Restoration England, about kingly power at a time of major phase-change in the political mindset, and about the emergence of ‘politicised media’ recognizable in our contemporary world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available