Laura Lunger Knoppers. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton's Eve

By Bunker, Nancy Mohrlock | Seventeenth-Century News, Fall-Winter 2013 | Go to article overview

Laura Lunger Knoppers. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton's Eve


Bunker, Nancy Mohrlock, Seventeenth-Century News


Laura Lunger Knoppers. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton's Eve. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 223 pp. + 40 illus. $95.00. Review by NANCY MOHRLOCK BUNKER, MIDDLE GEORGIA STATE COLLEGE.

Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton's Eve, by Laura Lunger Knoppers, identifies the Caroline royal family's great interest to the Victorian "cult of domesticity," a period in which "imagining the British past as a prototype of an idealized present" (1) was commonplace. Her investigation, grounded in Frederick Goodall's painting An Episode in the Happier Days of Charles 1(1853), interprets the leisurely outing of King Charles and his family as similar to portraits of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their children. The Introduction outlines the ways in which visual materials, literary texts, cookery books, and political writings are used as political propaganda in representations of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, Oliver and Elizabeth Cromwell, and in the characterizations of Adam and Eve in John Milton's Paradise Lost. In recouping the seventeenth-century royal representation and the discourses that contested and opposed it, she interrogates the liminal space between domestic and monarchial images.

Chapter 1, "The scepter and the distaff: mapping the domestic in Caroline family portraiture," explores images of the royal family including the George Marcelline Epithalamium Gallo-Britannicum (1525), Van Dyck portraits of Charles I and Henrietta Maria with their two eldest children (1632), and Van Dyck portraits of the children alone (1632 and 1637). Newly wedded Charles I and Henrietta Maria are represented in the Epithalamium with right hands joined, in fashionable attire, and with allegorical figures of war and peace. Speech bubbles proffer the unity of marriage and glorify the Queen's virtue; the scene's message declares a public kingship and anticipates the dynastic expectations for this couple's offspring. Portraits show the vitality of "children as children, not simply as miniature adults" (26) attending to each other and positioned with the family dogs. The rich indoor scenes displaying family comfort, spousal affection, and parents in close proximity to their children exemplify the domestic ideal. These accessible representations make visible an intimacy British subjects relished and "mapped a gendered domesticity on to the royal couple" (27), one that later backfired as critique of the King's uxorious marriage.

The Frontispiece to The Sussex Picture, or, An Answer to the Sea-Gull (1644) carries an "allegedly incriminating portrait" that received Parliamentary comment (38). Controversy revolved around the King appearing to offer his scepter to his queen, but she refuses, and directs him to give it to the Pope. In addition to the religious and political ramifications of the image, the cleft staff, used for flax or wool and typical of women's work, symbolizes female authority. This image foregrounds the "assimilation" of Henrietta Maria as a wife who has "inverted household order by dominating her husband" (40) while destabilizing the representation of the male dynasty.

Chapter 2 "'Deare heart': framing the royal couple in The Kings Cabinet Opened" exposes the responses to The Kings Cabinet Opened (1645). Editing and selecting thirty-nine of the minimum of fifty-seven letters captured after the battle of Naseby, Parliament published the letters to "shape public opinion against the king" by intimating disorder in his household and government (43). Presented as the intimate communication between the king and queen, the linguistic decision to use "cabinet" in the title heightens secrecy and elevates the intrigue of their exchanges. Deliberate printing decisions contributed to textual emphasis upon revelation and discovery of secrets, language that is part of parliamentary propaganda (43). The results of Parliament's strategic efforts to select, translate, and edit the original letters debilitated the king's effectiveness. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Laura Lunger Knoppers. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton's Eve
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.