Translation as Image-Making: Elizabeth I's Translation of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy
Lysbeth Benkert
Northern State University

Benkert, Lysbeth. "Translation as Image-Making: Elizabeth I's Translation of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy." Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3 (January, 2001): 2.1-20 <URL:

  1. During the autumn of 1593, Queen Elizabeth translated the verse portions of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy in about a month and a half, [1] an intellectual exercise that appears to have been purely for her own entertainment. So far as we know, she had not undertaken any extensive formal translations since she was a girl of 15 when she translated a French poem by Marguerite of Navarre for her stepmother. No one has speculated up to this point as to why, when she had so many demands on her time, she would choose this time in her life to begin translating again. Nor does it entirely make sense for her to have chosen the text she did, for, although she greatly admired the work, it seems odd to "speed translate" a work on patience and forbearance. However, her translation, and the fact that she chooses this work in particular, becomes logical given the queen's careful construction of her public image, as well as the pressures she faced from English reformers such as Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke.

  2. If two of the Renaissance woman's greatest virtues were her silence and obedience, Elizabeth Tudor was both the paragon and the antithesis of the model female. On the one hand, she portrayed the image of herself as the humble wife to her superior husband, England, while on the other she held the throne and made independent, intelligent decisions in the centre of public life. Her speeches to Parliament carefully balance these roles. A 1584 speech responding to a petition for Mary Stuart's execution illustrates this clearly. Elizabeth first thanks Parliament in humble tones for its concern for her safety:

    And although there liveth not any that may more justly acknowledge themselves infinitely bound unto God than I, whose life He hath miraculously preserved at sundry times (beyond my merit) from a multitude of perils and dangers, yet is not that the cause for which I count myself the deepliest bound to give Him my humblest thanks, or to yield Him greatest recognition; but this which I shall tell you hereafter, which will deserve the name of wonder, if rare things and seldom seen be worthy of account. Even this it is: that as I came to the crown with the willing hearts of subjects, so do I now, after twenty-eight years reign, perceive in you no diminution of goodwills. [2]

    The greatest gift God has given her is not her life; rather her greatest gift is the deep love of her subjects, for which she gives God her "humblest thanks." She would readily give her life for the good of her people, for England and the welfare of her subjects remain of superior importance to her mere life. At this point, she portrays herself as a humble servant of the people. Yet in the same speech, she just as clearly informs Parliament that the decision they press her to make is not a matter with which they should concern themselves:

    But, for that this matter is rare, weighty, and of great consequence, and I think you do not look for any present resolution -- the rather for that, as it is not my manner in matters of far less moment to give speedy answer without due consideration, so in this of such importance -- I think it very requisite with earnest prayer to beseech His Divine Majesty so to illuminate mine understanding and inspire me with His Grace, as I may do and determine that which shall serve to the establishment of His church, preservation of your estates, and prosperity of the Commonwealth under my charge. Wherein, for that I know delay is dangerous, you shall have with all conveniency our resolution delivered by our message. [3]

    She will humbly thank them for their concern, but she will make the decision on her own terms and in her own time. The queen does not care to consult with them beforehand; she will inform Parliament of her decision afterward. Her rhetoric here reflects her careful image construction, at once humble and regal. She is both the woman grateful for their concern over her safety, and the sovereign who controls all executive decisions. Elizabeth choreographed many aspects of her life in order to reflect this image.

  3. Even many of her private pastimes were public events calculated to reinforce this double image of a major power broker who somehow still embodied feminine virtue. Susan Frye specifically examines ways in which Elizabeth attempted to control her public image. As early as her entry into London for her coronation, she takes an active role in re-shaping the public portrayals of her so that she retains control of the public's perception of her. [4] The pageant itself attempts to "assign her the domestic roles that attempt to contain the power and voice of women," those of the "mother who receives metaphoric children from the city and as a daughter who receives its advice." [5] Yet Elizabeth actively interacts with the tableaux with which she is presented and the speakers who approach her. In this way, she "moved to confuse, if not remove, the gendered assumption of her passivity." [6]

  4. Mary Thomas Crane examines Elizabeth's political rhetoric in terms of its image manipulation, and sees her speeches and correspondence as deliberately constructed to maintain the image of the queen not only as a queen but as an advisor of state well educated in the humanist traditions of courtly counsel. [7] Crane sees this self-image as distinct from those images of Elizabeth constructed by the men around her: "unlike courtly paradigms which tended to freeze the queen in a static and symbolic posture" separated from the actual workings of government, this self-portrayal "allowed her to assume an array of active roles - from patriarchal advisor to silent and obedient woman." [8] In this way, she used masculine rhetoric against itself, assuming "the role of advisor . . . in order to disguise blunt commands." [9] This rhetorical stance emerges repeatedly in the queen's speeches as she first defines her position as humble female servant of England, while simultaneously claiming her sovereign rights to limit parliamentary purview.

  5. She continued this conscious image construction into the 1590s, and her translation of Boethius probably comes out of this conscious image-making process. Even though we only have one remaining copy of the manuscript, her care to keep track of her speed indicates strongly that she kept the court posted on her progress, and notes in the margins indicate that fair copies of her work had been made. This was not, in all probability, meant as a merely private exercise. Her translations would have made a strong reinforcement of her image as an intellectual, and another attempt to combat the patronizing voices of those who constantly tried to assert their dominance and influence her policies. Such an endeavour would not only help her reassert her intellectual superiority, but also, through the subject matter of the text itself, suggest a paradigm through which she wished her subjects to interpret events.

  6. Although Elizabeth had reassured her critics that she was not the hysterical female her sister had been, England faced several difficulties during the 1590s. Her foremost problem involved France. King Henry IV's attempts to gain control of his country plunged it into yet another civil war, and as Europe's only successful Protestant sovereign, many pressured Queen Elizabeth to support Henry fully. Whether she liked it or not, Elizabeth had been designated the Defender of the Protestant Faith, a position she neither liked nor could summarily refuse. This meant a commitment of troops and money that the treasury could ill afford. King Henry was broke, and many of his own troops in mutiny for lack of pay. He desperately needed funds to be of any help to mainland Protestants. As much as she loathed getting involved in continental politics, she felt herself pressed on all sides to commit as many of her resources as possible. Parliament showed itself especially vehement in the cause and promised faithfully they would fully support her financially. Once she had committed herself, however, and had spent over £300,000 in the four years before Parliament reconvened in 1593, selling crown lands to alleviate much of the expense, Parliament balked and wanted her requested subsidy cut by two-thirds (QE 325). Finally, after she fought legal battles with Parliament and military battles in France, Henry converted to Catholicism in July of 1593. Her frustration, both with Henry and the militant Protestants who had pushed her involvement in the war, must have been extreme. It can be no coincidence that his conversion came just a few months prior to the queen's translation of Boethius.

  7. A second concern of the queen's involved maintaining the delicate balance of power she had so far managed to uphold among the various factions at court. Political power depended as much on one's personal relationship with the queen as it did on one's actual title. Through controlling access to herself, Elizabeth had built her success on her ability to divide and conquer. By making sure that no one group of nobles gained a majority of court appointments or pensions, she made certain that she was never forced into doing anything with which she whole-heartedly disagreed, even though she might have to do things that she found unpleasant. She also minimized major personality and philosophical clashes among her closest advisors; Leicester and Burghley avoided direct clashes with each other because of their shared intimacy with the queen and their general agreement in religious matters. [10] This policy based on personal relationships became threatened as many of her elder statesmen began to retire or die. By 1593, Leicester, Warwick, Walsingham, Thomas Randolph, Sir James Croft, and Sir Christopher Hatton had all died (QE 319). Of course, many men waited to fill these positions, but Elizabeth had to be extremely careful about how she replaced these trusted counsellors. The rapid turnover in advisors during the 90s created the only real period of dispute over how power and access to the queen would be balanced. [11] The Earl of Essex was more than willing to suggest alternative personnel as posts became empty. Yet, as much as Elizabeth seemed to dote on the handsome young lord who many assumed had taken Leicester's place in her heart, she knew very well the dangers of allowing him too much leverage. The earl was as proud, hot-headed and ambitious as he was charismatic. He had already proved himself to be willful and self-seeking in 1591 when Elizabeth sent him over to France to help King Henry with English troops. Everyone expected the siege of Rouen to last a matter of weeks, and because of this assumption the queen authorized a stay of two months for the earl and his troops. After an entire month abroad, they still had not seen any fighting; rather, Essex indulged most of his time in frivolous pursuits. At one point he travelled across to Henry's camp to pass the time in a leaping contest. Called home by a furious monarch, his "indiscretions were incomplete, for before leaving he knighted twenty-four of his followers, telling them that it was neither his fault nor theirs that they had been unable to win honour" (QE 323). When Elizabeth sent him back a short time later as the siege really was about to begin, her troops sat outside the city's gates until January of 1592, when, after several broad hints had failed, the queen explicitly ordered Essex home. In the end, Rouen never did give over the "easy victory" that Essex had promised.

  8. These problems would have been daunting enough to the queen in her youth when she could mitigate criticism of her rule through her carefully crafted image as the chaste, beautiful young virgin who simultaneously embodied the power of the "body politick." In the 1590s, however, despite the flattering protests of Essex and her courtiers, it had to be increasingly difficult for Elizabeth to justify her former image to herself. [12] She turned 60 in 1593, and was not the beauty she had once been. Her teeth were reputed to have been yellowed by the sugar candies she loved so much, and in addition to normal sagging and wrinkling, her face became marred by the ill effects of the lead-based make-up she wore. At this point she needed to reinforce an alternative image of herself in order to strengthen her position, an image not so dependent on a visual portrayal, in case the flattery of her courtiers collapsed under the weight of a too-strained fašade.

  9. Elizabeth's intellectual powers were already widely known and celebrated. She remained justifiably proud of her skill as a linguist and corresponded often in Greek and Latin. She also received praise for the poetry she had written as a young woman and the translations she had done for her tutors. Translation of classical authors, then, offered itself as a natural vehicle to exhibit these skills, and allow her to "market" herself as a strong intellectual. In this way, she could not only display her skills, but also circulate literature that expounded her views in a form suitably feminine.

  10. Translation served functions in the Renaissance that it no longer serves today. In addition to its scholarly role, translation acted as a method of training for hopeful poets, and as a mine of conceits for the more experienced writer. It also, as Gary Waller points out, served as way for women to express themselves creatively while seeming to constrain their public voice safely. [13] What little women's writing that remains from the sixteenth century consists mostly of dedicatory poems and religious translations, forms which silence and constrain even as they allow a certain level of expression. [14] Most original poetry written by women in the early modern period does not emerge until the generation after Queen Elizabeth and the Countess of Pembroke. Aemilia Lanyer's work appears in 1611 and Lady Mary Wroth's work in 1621. Elizabeth's generation broke ground for these writers, but do not seem to have crossed the social barriers into wholly original works. Seen in this context, Elizabeth's translations emerge as another example of her carefully wrought political rhetoric. While she confines her creative expressions to this safe, woman's art, she proves her intellectual superiority -- it is no mean feat to translate de consolatione philosophiae in merely 24 hours -- and forces her courtiers to read and praise a philosophical work of which she not only approves, but has edited and pre-interpreted through her act of translation. As in her explicitly political works, she uses a strain of the accepted, masculinist-approved discourse against itself and reverses the implicit submissiveness of the translative feminine voice.

  11. The idea probably came from the Countess of Pembroke's forays into the genre. After the death of her brother, Sir Philip Sidney, the countess took it on herself to keep alive his memory and the cause of Protestant reform for which he had died. After Sir Philip's death, the Dudley/Sidney family as a political-religious faction no longer had the strong male voices it once relied on, and the countess attempted to fill this vacuum by extolling her dead brother. [15] In order to do this, she not only polished his manuscripts for publication, but, as best she could, finished others of his works, began patronizing poets who would champion the Dudley/Sidney alliance and the Protestant cause, and began translating works to support the efforts of Protestant reform. [16] Sir Philip eventually came to be thought of as a Protestant martyr, largely through the efforts of his sister. [17] Since original fiction and poetry was a forum largely closed to women, the countess used translation as a political tool to disseminate works which pushed for a greater involvement in the religious wars on the continent. By 1593, she had completed a draft of a translation of King David's Psalms, which her brother had begun and on which she worked for several years. [18] Even though the countess could not formally present her work to the queen until 1599, Elizabeth had to be aware of the countess' activities because of the countess' position as a major figure in the Sidney circle. Elizabeth would have felt the need to respond in some way to the political pressure brought to bear by a new translation of the Psalms by so prominent an aristocrat.

  12. Throughout the Reformation in Europe, the Psalms had been used by militant Protestants as a battle cry for radical reform and holy wars against the Catholics. When the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots returned to Scotland to rule, she was greeted by fervent Protestants who stood outside her windows all night long singing Psalms. The Huguenots in France sang Psalm 68 "Let God Arise, Let His Enemies Be Scattered" as they went into battle. Returned Marian exiles sang Psalms in the streets of London in order to admonish Elizabeth to greater church reforms; "These Psalm-singing Protestants were a constant worry to Elizabeth, for they threatened her careful religious compromise by continuing to use every possible occasion to instruct her on the means necessary to maintain the true faith." [19] Since Elizabeth was the leading Protestant ruler in Europe, fervent Protestants took every opportunity to draw parallels between the queen's life and that of King David, pointing out their mutual persecution under their previous rulers and their subsequent successful rules. Protestants also, naturally, painted the Catholics as the Philistines, and in doing so, made it a religious duty of the queen not only to maintain the faith at home, but to punish sinners and convert the unfaithful abroad. The connection between the reformist agenda and the Psalms was so well established, in fact, that Margaret P. Hannay goes so far as to say, "someone raised in the Protestant alliance could not read the Psalms without seeing contemporary political parallels." [20] The text explicated itself. Elizabeth, in fact, had drawn on the parallel herself when she was young. John Bale's 1548 dedication to Elizabeth's translation of Psalm 13 openly interprets the work as an anti-Catholic statement, as it calls for relief of the oppressed and for vengeance on the "foes of heaven." [21] When the Countess of Pembroke finally completed the presentation copy of the Psalms in 1599, her double dedication to both the queen and Sir Philip, the one-time powerful voice for the Protestant reformists, confirms the political intent of her work. [22]

  13. Considering the charged history of the Psalms, the political implications of the countess' work would have been unmistakable. Elizabeth, however, did not want to expend all of her time and resources fighting other people's wars. In the first place, the resources necessary to wage war successfully abroad simply were not available to her, especially considering Parliamentary recalcitrance. In addition, Elizabeth wanted to maintain tight control over the mandate of her officers once she sent them abroad, the difficulty of which she was constantly reminded. Not only had Essex failed to follow orders at the siege of Rouen, other military officers had also proved less than exact when following her commands. In 1589, Sir Francis Drake had failed to follow orders when she sent him to destroy the remainder of the Spanish fleet as it sat in port. As the English ships waited to depart, the queen reminded Drake that, before they go on a pirating mission, "our express pleasure and commandment is that you distress the ships of war in Guipuzgoa, Biscay and Galacia." [23] Yet Drake and his fellow commander, Norris, landed instead in Portugal and embarked on a land attack that ended disasterously. Elizabeth knew that once her commanders left England, they were subject both to their own whims and those of their foreign compatriots rather than her commands. Another reason that may have led Elizabeth to remain less than enthusiastic about foreign wars is that, although devout, Elizabeth seems for the most part to have been convinced that the form a person's worship took was not that important as long as s/he was basically a Christian and kept the peace. She strongly resisted Parliamentary efforts to impose heavy-handed punishments on recusants, only giving in during the 1580s once trouble with Spain began to escalate. Domestic tranquillity interested her much more than converting the unfaithful. Elizabeth already needed every means at her disposal to maintain order at home because of the continuing pressure for further reforms in the English Church, let alone extending her influence abroad. The incendiary message of the countess' work, therefore, would have demanded a response. The queen had to prove that not only could she translate better than the countess, but the work she chose had to contradict in an appropriate philosophical fashion the views propounded by the reformist Protestants with whom the countess associated.

  14. Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy works well in this context. The central message of the work concentrates on human happiness and how it can be reached in the midst of adversity through the powers of reason and a faith in the natural order of the universe. In addition, the original Latin as well as the standard interpretations of the text would have been widely known by those at court, and numerous portions of the work serve as direct responses to the militant messages of the reformists.

  15. One of Elizabeth's first concerns in responding to the countess would be to reinforce her own devout nature in order to counteract any implications from more zealous Protestants that she was lax in her faith because she was reluctant to fight for it. Again, the Consolation works better in this context than any other classical text she might have chosen. If she had only been concerned with image, it would have been just as easy, and seemingly just as appropriate, for her to translate Ovid as Boethius, since Ovidian tropes saturated the rhetoric of her court and the images projected of her by many poets. Yet as a major work of the Christian cannon, Boethius allows the queen to express her religious fervour just as well as it allows her to prove her intellectual prowess. The work reiterates constantly the dependence of all things on God, as in III.ix: "Thou art the cleare and quiet rest for best folk, / The to admire is first, last, help, gide, / Pathe and stedy last" (29-31). [24] The foundation of Boethius's argument rests on a strong belief in the centrality of God to the universe. Philosophy begins her argument with the premise that all order takes its source from God and no man can oppose this divinely established order. In Elizabeth's translation, she writes: "Times God assigneth fit / For eche mans office best / Nor the tournes that he appoints / Suffers to be mixte" (I.vi16-19).

  16. Boethius also works as a direct response to the constant calls to arms from the countess' circle. Where the god of the Psalms is militant and angry, the god of Boethius is loving, reasonable and harmonious. The themes of peace and mutual love recur often in the work, making it particularly appropriate as an expression of the queen's agenda. Book II.v praises past ages when greed for fine things had not yet sent people to war with one another: "Than were navies stil, / Nor bloudshed by cruel hate / Had fearful weapons staned." This message is reinforced once again in the next verse: "O grevous hap whan wicked sword / To cruel venom joingnes!" (16-7) The pacifist message of these lines acts as an explicit rebuttal to militant pressures. In the same respect, verse viii wistfully yearns for humankind to imitate more faithfully its creator in His love of order and all His creations rather than constantly interrupting the peace through their lack of respect for one another:

    He in holy peace doth hold
    The bounded peoples pact,
    And linkes sacred wedlock
    With chast goodwyl,
    Who lawes his owne
    To true associates giues.
    O happy humain kind,
    If loue your mindz
    The same that heuen doth
    Mygh gide. (21-30)

    If the souls of men mirrored the ideal love of heaven, their lives would turn as harmoniously as Phoebus when he "brings the ruddy day" (II.viii.4). God's love alone binds together the sky, the sun, the winds, friends, as well as husband and wife. Book IV.vi. praises peace, once again pointing to the heavens as the epitome of the natural order bound together by love: "Of hyest heavan the top doe vewe. / There planets, with justest league of all, / Agreement old do kepe. . . . Such is ye common loue of all, / That with returne, for end of good be kept" (3-5, 44-5). The very heavens exist in perfect harmony, the work argues, and because humankind should make themselves a microcosm of God's order, they, too, should live harmoniously. Verse iv of this same book also takes up this theme, reminding the reader that the good Christian not only loves good people, but pities the evil; war and hate is beneath the true Christian: "What boutes hit make so great strife / And with thy hand thy dethe procure? . . . Fit meade wouldest thou giue desartz? / Of right the good do love, the yl bemone" (1-2, 11-12). Life offers cruelty enough; instead of seeking out wars with enemies, the good Christian pities and prays for them.

  17. Boethius also allows the queen to make subtle jibes at the Protestants' pretensions of superiority even as she keeps her rhetoric clearly within the bounds of standard Christian doctrine. In III. ii, the poem centres on the concept of natural law, arguing that all things eventually return to their true nature if given the opportunity. A tamed lion will become wild again if it tastes blood; a pampered bird kept in a cage longs to be free, and a tree bent over with the wind always returns upright. The verse concludes by saying that "Each thing sekes owt his propre cours / And do reiois at retourne ther own, / Nor ordar giuen to any remains / Onles he joinges to end his first / And so stedyes his holie round" (33-7). God's order governs all things and all things that fight against this order eventually return to it. Through this Elizabeth can imply that the Protestant faith does not need force of arms to convince the Catholics of their errors, since all things eventually return to their true nature if given the opportunity. All people will eventually return to the true faith, if there is such a thing, because all things naturally seek out their proper places in nature. All things, even those which seem disturbing, have a part in the natural plan of the universe. Boethius reinforces this theme in IV.v, where Elizabeth translates "hydden causes whyrls ye mynd. . . . Let cloudy faulte of error giue his place / And wonders sure be seene shall cease" (18, 21-2). We see life "as through a glass darkly" - as mortals, he argues, we cannot possibly see God's reasons or understand his plans for us. If we could see through the "cloudy faulte of error" wondrous events would seem reasonable, even, Elizabeth may imply, the existence of Catholics might make sense. This reflects Elizabeth's reluctance to carry out an intensive persecution of English recusants: judge not, she seems to want to say to her critics, lest ye be judged. Again, in III.xi, Boethius reminds the reader that one must look to the inner self to find truth through reason -- "the sead of trothe . . kinlez best by learnings belowes" (11-2) -- not by force of arms.

  18. Probably the most prominent theme in The Consolation, however, is that of patience. Philosophy's primary purpose in coming to Boethius in his adversity is to counsel patient acceptance of his fortunes. This advice matches perfectly with Elizabeth's needs, both for herself as she tries to deal with the loss of close advisors and with the frustration of King Henry's conversion, and for militant Protestants. In IV.i. especially, Boethius reminds his readers that they must be able to rise above earthly concerns and earthly tyrants, for if the oppressed can rise above their oppressors, they can see objectively "The grimme lookis that people dredeth so / Of banissed tirants" (29-30). Such a message could be directly aimed at the Huguenots of France, or the remaining Marian exiles and their children in England. True Christians suffer through adversity and realize that their patience raises them above their oppressors. Christians find direct military action and violent repression morally repugnant. The work ends by reinforcing humankind's exalted nature. The individual must rise above earthly concerns and earthly thoughts, for "Man alone his hed upward bendz, . . . On hy thy mynd shuldst raise, lest overwaid / Thy body made aloft, thy mind shuld / Lower sit" (V.v. 10, 14-16). God fashioned the human mind to reach heavenward, and not to allow itself to become weighted down with worldly things.

  19. This translation combines Elizabeth's already well-established rhetoric of counsel with her conscious image construction. The Consolation itself instructs readers in the path to true happiness, which, conveniently enough, parallels Elizabeth's efforts to maintain order in the face of an emphatic call to arms. It also allows Elizabeth to exhibit her phenomenal skill with languages, her classical education, as well as her devotion to Christianity, and, in so doing, projects a specific image of herself as an intellectual.

  20. This translation has for years been viewed as unimportant by historians who were unable to place it in its proper context. Now that Mary Sidney's work has been recognized as the political and creative document it was meant to be, Elizabeth's translation can be interpreted in terms of its dual purpose. She did not sit down to translate Boethius on a bet, or as part of a courtly game in order to keep herself and her courtiers amused. She had a clear agenda which included the desire to reassert her threatened intellectual powers as well as the need to respond to the increasing clamor for increased military action against the Catholics. Boethius provides her with a ready-made discourse in which to achieve that agenda, but one which is both doctrinally secure, and tucked safely within the permitted boundaries of feminine discourse. Thus she can express her political messages and display her intellectual prowess without ever challenging Christian theology or overstepping the boundaries of femininity.


1. Leicester Bradner, ed., The Poems of Queen Elizabeth I (Providence: Brown UP, 1964); 81-82, notes that the marginal notes in the manuscript carefully track the queen's progress as she translated. The total time elapsed is somewhere between 25-30 days; however, many days she only worked a few hours and several others she had no time at all. Lacey Baldwin Smith, Elizabeth I, Problems in Civilization Series (St. Louis: Forum, 1980), writes that it took the queen a month to complete the translation. Frances Teague, "Elizabeth I: Queen of England," Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation, ed. Katharina Wilson (Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 1987), 533, estimates that the actual time was around 24 to 27 hours.

2. "Speech on Mary, Queen of Scots," ed. Frances Teague. Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation, ed. Katharina M. Wilson (Athens: U of Geogia P, 1987) 539.

3. "Speech on Mary" 542.

4. Susan Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation (NY: Oxford, 1993).

5. Frye, Elizabeth I, 25.

6. Frye, Elizabeth I, 42.

7. Mary Thomas Crane, "'Video et Taceo': Elizabeth I and the Rhetoric of Counsel" SEL 14 (1988): 1-15.

8. Crane 2.

9. Crane 12.

10. Simon Adams, "Eliza Enthroned? The Court and Its Politics," in The Reign of Elizabeth I, ed. Christopher Haigh (London: Macmillan, 1984), 63.

11. Adams, 63.

12. Roy Strong, The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry (London: Thames and Hudson, 1977), gives a detailed analysis of the images of Elizabeth created by her courtiers and court poets. The image of Elizabeth as the unreachable virgin goddess continued through the last decade of her life; yet as much as her vanity must have been flattered by such portrayals, she cannot have been unaware of creeping reality.

13. Gary Waller, "Struggling into Discourse: The Emergence of Renaissance Women's Writing," Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators and Writers of Religious Works, ed. Margaret Patterson Hannay (Kent: Kent State UP, 1985) 155.

14. Waller, 246.

15. Margaret P. Hannay, "'Doo What Men May Sing': Mary Sidney and the Tradition of Admonitory Dedication." Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, ed. Margaret Patterson Hannay (Kent: Kent State UP: Kent, 1985), 155.

16. All information on the life of the Mary Sidney, the Countess of Pembroke unless otherwise noted is from Margaret P. Hannay, Philip's Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (New York: Oxford UP, 1990).

17. Hannay, "'Doo What Men'" 150.

18. Michael Brennan, "The Date of the Countess of Pembroke's Translation of the Psalms," Review of English Studies: A Quarterly Journal of English Literature and the English Language 33 (Nov., 1982): 434-436.

19. Hannay, Philip's Phoenix 94.

20. Margaret Hannay, "'Princes You as Men Must Dy': Genevan Advice to Monarchs in the Psalms of Mary Sidney," English Literary Renaissance 19 (Winter 1989): 30; "'Doo What Men. . . ,'" 160.

21. Hannay, "'Doo What Men'" 160.

22. Hannay, "'Doo What Men'" 153.

23. Qtd. in Anne Somerset, Elizabeth I (NY: St. Martin's P, 1991) 478.

24. Elizabeth I, trans., "The Metres of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy," The Poems of Queen Elizabeth I, ed. Leicester Bradner (Providence: Brown UP, 1964) 19-45.

Works Cited

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© 2001-, Lisa Hopkins (Editor, EMLS)