Participation Type

Paper

Presentation #1 Title

The Death of Death: Political Preaching at the Funeral of Anne of Denmark

Presentation #1 Abstract

The death of Anne of Denmark, queen of England and Scotland, in 1619 removed an important and unique, albeit covert, presence from the Jacobean court. This analysis of two sermons delivered by John Donne and Samuel Crooke for her funeral uncovers the unique political and religious role of the queen and her household, along with the ways in which preachers utilized their oratorical skill for specific and often contentious political and theological ends. Both chaplains addressed the tangled problem of eulogizing the Catholic queen to a protestant audience, though each did so in a way that reflected their particular and conflicting theological and political form of Protestantism. Rhetorically, each presented the significance of Anne’s death according to their way of thinking, which represented broader politico-theological concerns of different court factions competing in a very particular historical context. Scholars have recently begun to recognize the political importance of sermons in the Jacobean court; others have begun to revise the image of Anne of Denmark from one of a vain, frivolous, and politically disengaged secret-Catholic to one of an astute, if sidelined, player at the Jacobean court. This paper reinforces this view of Anne and demonstrates the ways court chaplains used their sermons to impose conflicting interpretations on the occasion by deploying coded language and imagery understood by the audience as representative of ideological divisions that aligned with separate factional interests and multiple centers of power at court.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Nathan Perry earned his PhD in History at University of California, Santa Barbara and currently teaches at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. His dissertation, entitled The Politics of Spectacle: Ideology and Ambition in Jacobean Court Ceremonies, looks at how different individuals and factions use court ceremonial to advocate their own political, religious, and ideological agendas during the first half of James I’s reign in England. His current research continues this analysis of court ceremonial for the second half of James’s reign; teaching interests include world history, western civilization, the Scientific Revolution, and European intellectual history.

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The Death of Death: Political Preaching at the Funeral of Anne of Denmark

Montréal, QC

The death of Anne of Denmark, queen of England and Scotland, in 1619 removed an important and unique, albeit covert, presence from the Jacobean court. This analysis of two sermons delivered by John Donne and Samuel Crooke for her funeral uncovers the unique political and religious role of the queen and her household, along with the ways in which preachers utilized their oratorical skill for specific and often contentious political and theological ends. Both chaplains addressed the tangled problem of eulogizing the Catholic queen to a protestant audience, though each did so in a way that reflected their particular and conflicting theological and political form of Protestantism. Rhetorically, each presented the significance of Anne’s death according to their way of thinking, which represented broader politico-theological concerns of different court factions competing in a very particular historical context. Scholars have recently begun to recognize the political importance of sermons in the Jacobean court; others have begun to revise the image of Anne of Denmark from one of a vain, frivolous, and politically disengaged secret-Catholic to one of an astute, if sidelined, player at the Jacobean court. This paper reinforces this view of Anne and demonstrates the ways court chaplains used their sermons to impose conflicting interpretations on the occasion by deploying coded language and imagery understood by the audience as representative of ideological divisions that aligned with separate factional interests and multiple centers of power at court.