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Title: The end of the line : literature and party politics at the accession of Queen Anne
Author: Hone, Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0000 6726 3156
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis provides the first full-length account of the political and cultural significance of the accession of Queen Anne. It offers a critical reassessment of the politics of the royal image across a spectrum of texts, events, and artefacts - from panegyrics, newspapers, sermons, royal progresses, and processions to medals, coins, and playing cards. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of party politics to the literature and culture of the early eighteenth century. This thesis nuances that assumption by arguing: (1) that the principal focus of partisan texts was competing representations of monarchy; and (2) that the explosion of partisanship at the start of the eighteenth century was triggered by unrest about the royal succession. Anne was the last protestant Stuart. She had no surviving children. This thesis explores how authors such as Daniel Defoe, Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope, and a great many lesser known and anonymous writers and propagandists conceptualized the end of the Stuart dynasty. Anne's accession forced writers to conjecture on the future succession. There were two rival claimants to the throne after Anne's death: the protestant Electress Sophia of Hanover and Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward. Sophia's claim was statutory, James's hereditary. Factions emerged in support of both claimants. Almost all topical writing took a stance on the issue. Many sided with the government, supporting Hanover. Yet some writers favoured the illegal but hereditary claim of James Francis Edward; they had to express support in covert ways. This succession crisis triggered not only printed polemic, but also swathes of clandestine manuscript literature circulating in the Jacobite underground. The government took a hard line on Jacobite writers and printers; this thesis documents both their persecution and the techniques they used to evade the law. The thesis concludes by suggesting that this oppositional literary culture only disintegrated after the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion, and the consequent settlement of the Hanoverian succession, in late 1716. After this point, royal succession ceased to be a major source of political discontent.
Supervisor: Kewes, Paulina ; Womersley, David Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Politics and literature--Great Britain--History--17th century ; Politics and literature--Great Britain--History--18th century ; Political parties--Great Britain--History--17th century ; Political parties--Great Britain--History--18th century ; English literature--Early modern ; 1500-1700--History and criticism ; English literature--17th century--History and criticism