Printer Friendly

Mary Sidney's Antonius and the ambiguities of French history.

Mary Sidney Herbert's translation of Garnier's Marc-Antoine has a trans-Channel context that sharpens and complicates its implications. To remember that Garnier was an official who nevertheless flirted with the radically subversive Holy League and wrote during a three-sided civil war in which definitions of loyalty were in flux adds further poignancy to a play set during Roman civil tumults. Sidney wrote shortly after the assassination of Henri III, a mother-dominated and (it was said) sexually ambiguous murderer whom many in England despised even as they preferred him to the League. Such a background gives Sidney's work additional irony and moral ambiguity.

**********

The translation by Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, of Robert Garnier's Marc Antoine (1578) has hardly gone unnoticed, although there is little critical consensus concerning her aims, her possible political implications, or her hopes, if any, for influencing the English theatre. I have myself argued that, although her Antonius (1592, republished in 1595 as Antonie) is often called 'closet drama' in the manner of Seneca, the paratexts of the 1585 edition of Garnier that she evidently used evoke an imagined atmosphere of Sophocles' Greece as much as or more than they do that of Neronic Rome, even as the liminary and dedicatory poems shimmer with an elegance generated by famous names and the author's own absurdly abject praise of Henri III in a politically pressured time. (1) By 26 November 1590, the date that Mary Sidney gives in the volume that includes both the play and her translation of Philippe de Mornay's A Discourse on Life and Death, England and France had each witnessed events with particular drama and threat. No play set in the time that saw the collapse of Rome's republic and the start of its empire could avoid political overtones, but these would have changed during the years stretching from Marc Antoine's first appearance to the date of the translation's composition to the dates of its publication--and beyond. Such overtones, moreover, were more dissonant than harmonious, for like most civil wars, those in France were not always easy to judge either intellectually or morally. The very name that some apply to the later civil conflict in France, 'la guerre des trois Henris' ('The War of the Three Henries'), shows how binary judgment was for a while untenable.

This present discussion is a companion piece, further examining the atmosphere of the late 1580s and the early 1590s that gave the play increased resonance. (2) I focus on the weather coming from France because Garnier was French, but in considering what Mary Sidney's play 'means', or what thoughts it might have inspired, we should, of course, remember the Armada, the war in the Netherlands that cost her brother his life, the recent deaths of her uncles, and the certainty that Elizabeth (that serpent of old Thames) would die without an heir. Such an atmosphere adds poignancy to other texts as well, most notably Marlowe's Massacre at Paris, for obvious reasons, and Edward II, because it can be read partly in terms of the sexual gossip about Henri III and tensions over access to royal favour. (3) Here, however, I look at some non-dramatic works from the late 1580s and early 1590s that sometimes use the language of dramaturgy and, on occasion, exploit the violations of gender expectations that helped poison political discourse. I conclude by suggesting yet another reason why Mary Sidney chose this play and not some other by Garnier with a less problematic heroine.

Richard Hillman has argued against reading Antonie in political terms, sensibly remarking that had Mary Sidney intended veiled commentary on current affairs, she had plays to choose from more relevant than Marc Antoine; she was probably more drawn, thinks Hillman, to the image of a grieving (if talkative) woman.4 My own interest here is not in political allegory or in reading the play against the Sidney family's quasi-republican preferences, but rather in recalling a discourse in which, more than usual, it was--or had recently been --hard to tell heroes from villains, to choose sides with full confidence, or even to know precisely how the great should play their gender roles.

Some reminders might be useful. (The plot of Marc Antoine hardly needs repeating: Antony kills himself; Cleopatra anticipates but does not quite yet perform her death; Octavius triumphs; the chorus mourns and moralizes.) The year 1576 had seen the founding of the Holy League, an alliance headed by the Guise family and dedicated to preserving an ultra-militant Catholicism both against the Huguenot threat, notably as represented by the Protestant Henri de Navarre, and against the vacillations of the pious but weak Henri III, whose efforts to co-opt it failed miserably. It was not long before the League's ambitious suspicions led to renewed civil war, particularly after the death in 1584 of Anjou (Elizabeth's suitor) had left Navarre the official heir to the French throne, making political choice difficult for many who detested Protestantism but feared the League. In May 1588, on the 'Day of Barricades', the League took over Paris and Henri III fled to Blois. On 23 December, at Blois, Guise was murdered at the order of the king, who for good measure had the duke's brother, the cardinal, killed too. A few days later, on 5 January 1589, doubtless heartsick to see her dynasty failing, the brilliant but tragic Catherine de' Medici died. And on 2 August the king himself died, having been stabbed a few hours earlier by a Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement, at the instigation, many said, of the League and Pope Sixtus V, whose defence of the deed outraged even those who had not liked Henri. (Garnier died late the next year, perhaps regretting his few painful and possibly involuntary weeks as a member of the League.) By the mid-1590s the League had met with defeat by a now converted and crowned Henri IV backed by moderate royalists, the 'politiques', and with, as a letter by Sir Robert Sidney in November 1595 advised, continued help by an angry but practical Elizabeth. (5) The situation was not without irony. Like the League, Huguenots had once been willing to fight anointed monarchs, and when the English intervened in the French civil wars on behalf of Navarre, or in the Netherlands against Philip II, they had to find ways to justify what others might call rebellion. However, after Henri III's death those who supported the new king suddenly found themselves remembering the divine right of kings and the sinfulness of revolt. No wonder that these years saw a flood of news pamphlets and anti-League polemic in England, some probably the work of its government. (6)

Such dismay over the civil war and the murder of Henri III was, however, ambivalent on a number of counts. Whatever the League's contempt for Henri's political wavering, for his naming of Navarre as his heir, and even for his ancestry, the king had been a devout Catholic. But he had also been a king with a reputation for luxury, moral corruption, and effeminacy, indeed for what some would now call homosexuality, although for others both concept and word are ahistorical. (7) Anger at this presumed royal sodomy was amplified by fear that his mignons were sleeping their way to influence and by dismay that, as Ronsard (if indeed he is the author) put it in several prudently unpublished sonnets, the king was putting his seed in his boyfriends instead of where it would do the kingdom some good. (8) Sodomy might be a sin, but royal favouritism and the lack of issue made it even more politically noxious than Elizabeth's virginity. To detest regicide made sense, but many also saw God's hand at work in punishing a morally lax persecutor of the Godly, a murderer who let his young overdressed and perfumed friends and his mother--the Italian Jezebel of France, Catherine de' Medici--dominate him. True, those he had recently murdered were themselves murderers. Politics is morally complicated.

And that, I think, is one reason for the subtle and intelligent Mary Sidney's choice of Marc Antoine. Whatever the nuances of tone and rhetoric that mark some differences among the versions of the story by Garnier, Daniel (author of the play Cleopatra), and Shakespeare, it is hard utterly to condemn Cleopatra and Antony but equally hard to exculpate them. Such ambiguities blunt any political point beyond the obvious--civil war is a bad thing; beware of ageing serpents of the Nile lest smarter and less sex-obsessed politicians take over; keep your eye on your kingdom and not on handsome foreigners lest you lose what is left of your liberty--but they suggest that, like her brother, Mary Sidney was as interested in the exploratory, the interrogatory, the ironic, as she was in the didactic. This must have been particularly true for anyone who, like Philip Sidney and his Huguenot friends, thought seriously about the right of subjects (but which ones? individuals? the magistracy?) to rebel against a bad king. If David had not killed Saul when he had the chance, is there any excuse for murdering the last of the Valois? Or, some might whisper, rebelling against, let alone beheading, the Queen of Scots?

In such a world, in any political world, history itself can look like theatre, but not always a morality play. There is both ambivalence and theatricality, together with some interest in gender roles, in another female-authored work, Anne Dowriche's French Historie, printed in London after the assassination of Henri III but with no comment on it. Dowriche signs her preface 25 July 1589, which was 4 August in France, but it is hard to believe that the news had yet reached her. (9) She would almost certainly have heard about the murders of Guise and his brother, but despite a statement that France's troubles have been going on for 'thirtie yeeres and more' (sig. B3), which would put the time of writing in the late 1580s, the focus of her many pages in competent, if inevitably heavy, poulter's measure is on the earlier stages of the civil wars, culminating in a description of the St Bartholomew's Day massacre. Appearing when it did, however, and perhaps with the printer's assumption that the news from France could not hurt sales, the Historie could not be read without the knowledge of recent events, ones that could support Dowriche's view of Providence at work in variously punishing French persecutors of Huguenots and sometimes doing so with a sense of irony, as witness the morally blind Henri II dying from a splinter in his eye (sigs F1v-F2). Her marginal commentary, in visual and rhetorical style, is not unlike that of the Geneva Bible and must have added to the impression of God's providence at work. Indeed, Dowriche's remarks such as 'Princes are many times abused by lying Parasites' (a passing shot at Henri III? at Elizabeth?) are often found to work firmly within the very same discursive field as the Geneva Bible's commentary on the Psalms. If history is played out in theatrical terms for Dowriche, however, one critic makes the excellent point that she applies her stage language largely to her 'disingenuous characters', the Guise, Valois, and Medici. (10) Anti-stage writers such as John Stubbs would agree.

Dowriche begins with her narrator walking in the country and meeting a Frenchman who 'with shrilling voyce, and mournfull tunes' (sig. B1) bewails the situation in his homeland but has hopes of England. His grief, like Garnier's--like Lucan's, like Seneca's--is over shattered harmony:
 Where is the mutuall love that Prince and people had?
 Where is the noble union, that makes the Countrie glad?
 Where is the due regard that Princes ought to have;
 From all the bands of tyrannie their people for to save?
 Where is thy pitie gone, where is thy mercie fled?
 That Lion-like in everie place such Christian blood is shed?

 (sig. B1v)


As the poem continues there are monitory precedents to be kept in mind, and Dowriche, like Garnier and others, can think of ruins: remember God's anger at Saul, but also remember 'Jerusalem, what sinne did file thy fall, | When Titus and Vespasian did tumble downe thy wall' (sig. B2). There is little on Henri III, king during the poem's composition, and he is here still as the duc d'Anjou, but he plays a role in the 1572 massacre, making the situation in 1589 all the more poignant. And yet the politics, as so often, are vexed. The Valois are tyrants ... but one martyred Huguenot is made to explain that Protestants are not truly rebels (sig. E3) ... but David sometimes gave orders that his subjects rightly disobeyed (sig. I1, cf. sig. K3) ... but Absalom was justly punished for being a 'rebellious wicked wretche' against that same king (sig. I3v). So what do we conclude?

Most interesting in terms of gender and political abuse is the role (role indeed, for Dowriche writes, sig. G3, 'and heere begins the plaie') of Catherine de' Medici, the queen mother who has, we would say, more testosterone than her sons. 'Plucke up therefore your spirites, and plaie your manlie parts', she tells the other conspirators before the massacre. What shame, she exclaims, that 'I (a woman by my kinde) | Neede thus to speake, or pass you men in valure of the minde?' (sig. G4). Her similarity to Lady Macbeth smites the ear, but more to my immediate point is the calling into question of her sons' and favourites' masculinity and the gender ambiguity of her own. She is not a seductress like Cleopatra, but she unmans, or out-mans, the males around her. The poem ends with the death of one of her sons, Charles IX, ill of the bloody flux that here, as so often, is read as just punishment for his bloodthirstiness, and with the wish that England receive this warning. The warning is to avoid civil war, I assume, and Elizabeth is told to treat the realm's enemies with 'perfect hate', but it is hard to know exactly what Dowriche wants. The warning is as much to monarchs as to subjects, for if rebellion is wrong, so too disobedience to tyrants is obedience to God. At least sometimes, and if we know who the tyrants are, and although we should probably avoid male violence even if we suffer with perhaps male, and certainly Christian, stoicism, we also have the sad spectacle of a woman who can bend men to her will and drink blood with the best of them. In other words, Dowriche's principles are clear (love the Gospel, do not be a tyrant, remember God is watching), but their practical application is less so.

A sense that history is a theatre that pits God against villainy but that offers more drama than clarity appears also in the implied dramaturgy of one R.W.'s 1591 Martin Mar-Sixtus: A Second Replie Against the defensory and Apology of Sixtus the Fift late Pope of Rome, Defending the Execrable Fact of the Jacobine Frier, Upon the Person of Henry the Third, Late king of France, to be both Commendable, Admirable, and Meritorius. (11) R.W. knows that the issues are difficult. Is it legitimate to kill a tyrant? Elizabethan playwrights were shortly to explore this matter in a number of staged assassinations, from that of Caesar to, more problematically, those of Edward II and Richard II. The difficulty, one that Brutus and Cassius did not face, and which Antony could not have invoked in the days before Roman emperors began to anticipate a posthumous deification, was the theory of divine right. In that Henri III had collaborated in the Bartholomew massacre he was a tyrant, a Saul, but in that he was an anointed king he was--well, a Saul, and a Saul whom David would not harm even when he had the power. (That one French pamphlet praising Clement ends with a verse from Psalm 118--'This is the Lord's doing and is marvellous in our sight'--would have struck many as beyond blasphemy.) (12) And yet this wicked murder also demonstrates God's justice. True, there are some biblical regicides, but Jacques Clement was no Judith, says R.W., for he killed his own king--unlike Elizabeth (although R.W. does not spell this out), who, like the (almost) biblical heroine, had recently slain a foreign ruler.

The pamphlet's aim is to stress how abominable it is for a pope, of all people, to praise killing a king--a 'deede prophane and irreligious'. Was it not enough to disturbe the common peace, to alienate the hearts of the Commons, to stirre up a restles and factious Rebell, to muster out a league of mutinous and riotous conspirators, to discountenance and overbeare a lawfull king, to weaken, to disauthorize, and last of al most furiously to murder him, but presently they which stand in the gate must laugh at it, the drunkards make songs of it, and thou thy selfe Sixtus like a parasite upon a stage applaudest unto it? (sigs C1-C1v)

For R.W., as for Dowriche, drama means deception, so he can call this a 'painted processe', a 'direfull tragedie' that is 'performed' (sig. E3). As for Clement himself, this 'most impure and lecherous Satyr' had often to be 'traced and found and fetcht out of the Stewes' (sig. D1), whereas Henri was a Catholic, 'a bird of your owne brooding' (sig. D3v). Then appears what was a frequently made concession: Henri had murdered the duc de Guise and his brother. Next comes the usual defence: he was doing his duty as king, for Guise was 'a furious and braynsicke rebell' (sig. E3). And then we have the moral: the sinner Henri's death shows God's judgment for his role in the 1572 massacre. Indeed, God has punished the lot: Guise was murdered, Joyeuse died in the battle of Coutras, Henri III was assassinated, Charles IX perished either from poison or by 'vomitting out in his death the bloud which in his life hee had so egerly suckt' (sig. E4). For that matter, consider the whole dynasty--of Henri II's sons none remains to inherit the throne. R.W. will not even speak of 'Catharine d' Medices Queen Mother and monster of France', and, of course, Henri II, 'a grievous oppressor of the Church', was killed in a joust, Francois II died young, an earlier duc de Guise was assassinated, and Anjou was felled, some say, by a 'venereous contagion', which means syphilis (sig. E4v). At least the dying Henri III bequeathed his kingdom to Navarre, our new David. Now the League and the 'frantick and unbridled Frenchmen' should obey their rightful king. Was it not 'ominous', moreover, that Guise was murdered on Navarre's birthday? (sigs F3v-F4). R.W.'s arguments march around in no good logical order, but their very swerves imitate the difficulty of judging French history in a straightforward manner.

As I have mentioned, gender and its ambiguities played a role in thinking about recent French (and sometimes English) history. This is entirely unsurprising under any circumstances, but by 1590 the issues could seem particularly complex and, gender's role in polemics particularly useful. One reason for this was the Protestant tradition of calling Catholicism a strumpet; witness, in 1590, Edmund Spenser's temptress, the slithery witch Duessa, in The Faerie Queene. (13) Garnier's Cleopatra is unlikely to have struck Mary Sidney as yet another whore of Babylon, but seductive and serpentine women were ubiquitous in Protestant rhetoric. Some polemics are astonishingly sexualized and cruel. This had been true for some time. In William Baldwin's amazing Wonderfull Newes of the Death of Paule the III (1552; translated from M. Flacius Illyricus), a transgendered pope in Hell drips menstrual blood into a chalice from which deluded and damned churchmen drink. Two texts from 1590 show the dark vigour of this tradition, its fear and anger doubtless renewed by the Armada as well as by the struggles in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. The first, published by John Wolfe with one of those titles only the Renaissance could love, is A True and Perfecte Description of a Straunge Monstar [sic] borne in the Citty of Rome in Italy, in the Yeare of our Salvation. 1585. Under Which is Described both the Originall and Triumphant State of the Holy League, and also the Sodain and Deseperate Fall Thereof in the Yeare 1588 (1590). This is a combination of post-Armada polemic, traditional monster or prodigy pamphleteering, and anti-Catholic allegory. Not surprisingly, this time Sixtus V is the Whore of Babylon; impregnated, after some smooching and a shut bedroom door, by Satan himself (sig. B2), 'she' bears the monstrous Guise-led League (sigs B3v-4). The pope is dismayed that Navarre is the next heir (the margin, sig. B1, notes he is now king). True, Henri III is a murderer, but only from self-protection, and as he slashes off one of the monster's arms it vomits blood and cries out 'Cruelle mort me previent', or, explains the author, 'Cruell death prevents me'--his purpose is frustrated (sig. C1). Now, alas, there is a new League with the dukes of Parma and Mayenne (sig. C3). The last few pages are in fourteeners (with Turks figuring as sodomites, sig. D1). Catching up with current events, the final lines mention 'the cursed frire [i.e., friar]' who 'With all his crue that did consent, unto king Henries death' and conclude with a prayer for that new David, Henri IV, so 'sore opprest, by subjects fell unkinde'.

More focused on the assassination, and likewise printed by Wolfe in 1590, is A Letter written by a Catholicke Gentleman, to the Lady Jane Clement, the Haulting Princesse of the League. From Saint Denis. Translated of French into English. French readers would have had no trouble identifying the 'haulting princesse' as Mme de Montpensier, sister of Guise, who did in truth loathe Henri (who in turn mocked her limp). In this satire her taste runs to incest, for Lady Jane Clement loves Brother Jacques Clement. Indeed she loves everybody, and the author regales us with off-colour wordplay. Is besieged Paris starving? This 'Most curious Lady of the carnal union'- a pun on 'union' as fleshly sex and spiritually carnal League--should know that here is 'no meate in Paris more common, then thy selfe', and witchmeat, too, for 'inchantments' are her 'principall arts' (sig. A2v). Yet Henri was Catholic. Alas that Clement was killed so quickly, for it would have been a pleasure to hear him confess and see him punished (sig. A3v). The author then quotes a bit of Sophocles, though in Latin. But wait! Has he not 'overshotte' himself by writing in Latin to a lady? Not at all, 'for the Friers and Monkes, with whome most part thou hast to doe, put so oftentimes their latin tonge into thy mouth, that it cannot be, but that it is as familiar unto thee as thy naturall and country speech'. As it closes, this text also stops for a little kick at Islam, so often linked in Protestant polemic to Catholicism: Lady Jane bears the 'idols' of Mahomet and 'Hala' (that is, 'Allah'; sig. B3v). (14)

As I have mentioned, also contributing to an atmosphere of perhaps more than ordinary concern about gender was Henri III's reputation as a cross-dressing, mignon-favouring sodomite whose failure to produce an heir led to a crisis in the succession (although, Elizabeth and Mary Sidney might have reflected, only because of the supposedly ancient French Salic Law that forbade female rule). That the king was dominated by his mother did nothing to make him seem manlier, more like his cousin and brother-in-law the 'vert galant' Navarre. One text with a Sidney connection at least hints at this problematic sexuality while also showing the difficulty of judging French affairs with full moral clarity. This is De caede et interitu gallorum regis, henrici tertii, valesorium ultimi, epigrammata ('Epigrams on the murder and killing of the king of France, Henry the Third, last of the Valois'), a short collection of mostly neo-Latin epigrams published at Oxford by Joseph Barnes in late 1589 (or, granted printers' dating methods, possibly in early 1590) bearing on its title page a predictable moral: 'No unjust person will not pay the penalty', a comforting belief that turns up again and again in English commentary on recent French history. A prefatory poem refers to the dead Philip Sidney as well as to the very much alive Fulke Greville, so it seems reasonable to locate this volume by three classical-sounding pseudonyms (Stellatus, Philolaus, and Misophonus) in the world of post-Armada and post-Clement discourse one that could lead the politically aware to recall the fallen Sidney and probably also his sister, now readying his works for the press and, probably, reading Garnier. (15) 'While you are publishing Sidney's kingly poem', it says, 'We offer this poem about the French king. | Be lenient, shade of Sidney and hand of Greville: | There is no Sidney here and no Greville present' (sig. A1v). There could be a Matthew Gwinne or a John Lloyd, however, each with ties to the Sidneys (Gwinne was probably involved in publishing the 1590 Arcadia); and although this epigram situates the 1590 Arcadia in a context far from Mary Sidney's Wilton House and her own edition of the Arcadia of 1593, it is hard to believe her unaware of these poems. (16) Behind the publication of the 1590 Arcadia, argues Joel Davis, are the militant politics of a group that will later gravitate towards Essex; these epigrams do not mention the earl, but they have moments of militancy.17 More to my immediate point, even as their wit signals the homosocial masculinity found in an academic world of classical learning, they also touch on the ambiguities of gender at the Valois court.

The poems condemn regicide, monks, and the king's murder of the Guise brothers. (18) But there is also subtle scoffing at the doubtful sexuality of Henri III as well as at his overbearing mother. The Leaguers who had been writing obscene verses about Henri III's misdeeds would recognize a kindred discourse, even if not a kindred politics. Indeed, there may have been something wrong with the royal family itself: of the 'four brothers, the sons of Henri II', after all, 'Francois had an ulcer in his left ear', Charles 'disgorged his purple life from his mouth', a 'foul disease seized the limbs of Alencon', and 'Pope-loving Henri died at the hands of a Brother'. Elizabeth should thus 'learn from the example of the fallen king to beware of monks', but Catherine shows that there is also danger in a married queen who can produce and dominate weak and self-indulgent males. To want an Essex would be premature, in 1589, but at least we can rejoice in having Henri IV. Thanks to Clement, brothers--monks--appear often in these poems, usually with a quasi-sexual implication of something unhealthy, illegitimate, fraudulent, and threatening to patriarchal legitimacy. Worse than the Valois brothers is the false brother in the royal nest. That monks wear cowls allows further punning: an epigram 'De morte Henrici regis' (sig. A3) warns that 'If a turtledove lets a cuckoo's bird ['cuculus' with one 'l'] into her nest, it will eventually kill the dove's family. A mother raises many a cowl ['cucullus' with two 'l's] under royal roofs'. In one nest, a cuckoo was in fact a 'Cowl'. Such bird jokes aim not only at the monk who slew Henri III but also, if indirectly, at the inattentive imprudence and psychosexual confusions of the late Valois court.

Alas for poor France, Gallia--Gaul--with its Gallic cocks, its galli. A pun on 'gallus' may have been just possible in Renaissance France as an allusion to that part of his anatomy with which Henri III failed to produce an heir. In any case, the galli (eunuchs) who once accompanied Cybele had anatomical cocks but not the other equipment that had once made them fully men. Henpecked as he was, if only by a Catherine, not by the Great Mother, and preferring his mignons to battle and his wife, Henri III similarly lacked cojones. The verses are explicit: an epitaph (sig. A2) that puns on Catherine's family name [Medici doctors] says, 'Here lies the hen of the cocks, famous for three cocks' (i.e., Francis II, Charles IX, and Henri III--the late Alencon/Anjou, Elizabeth's 'frog', is missing). 'Cockland' (Gallia), advises the distich, 'stop bearing new cocks/ eunuchs!' (19)

The Oxford writers had to be careful, for the English queen, that virgin with the heart and stomach of a king, had long exploited her own gender ambiguity. But that very ambiguity suits the poem's political ambivalence--Henri III, unmanned by a powerful older female and in other ways insufficiently masculine, was nevertheless the legitimate king. Navarre, says another epigram, can cure with gentle Galenic herbs a nation made sick by its false doctor/Medici (or, if Galen fails, the poet adds, with harsh Paracelsian metal). But a preference for Navarre does not justify regicide or the pope who approved it (one epigram plays with Henricus Tertius and Sixtus Quintus). Politically, the volume's universe is not divided between good and evil: sexually inadequate kings with dominating mothers have their rights. This is precisely the same tragically confusing world in which Garnier knew he lived and in which English foreign policy operated--torn for a while between a legitimate Henri III and a Protestant Navarre. Much of the drama and poetry of those years was likewise more apt to imagine puzzlement and dilemma than clear answers. In 1596 Spenser's Sir Burbon would cast off his Huguenot shield but, after a scolding, continue to receive aid from the Knight of Justice (The Faerie Queene, V. xi); and although Shakespeare's lords in Love's Labour's Lost (most of them named for members of the League) break their vows (like Henri IV, the convert to Catholicism), on balance the play remains a comedy, if an aborted one.

Compared to France, then, England is fortunate. If dangers remain, she can at least rejoice in being an island. One epigram in De caede (sig. A2v) offers 'A wish on behalf of Britain': 'Once the hostile song ran that the Britons are separated from the whole world. Now, as the whole world flickers with lit fires, how I wish the Britons separated from the whole world'. Such a desire was understandable in 1589, whatever the writer's preferences in foreign policy, and it is merely a wish for isolation and not, as in John of Gaunt's great speech in Richard II, a delight in it. Here, perhaps, is where this text touches that of Dowriche, who often repeats the same moral as that of the title page of De caede (the unjust will pay), for her French Historie has been read in terms of a nationalism (both insular and international) that one scholar has explicitly opposed to that of Shakespeare's Gaunt. (20)

I end this description of some texts that demonstrate how ambiguous the English could find events in France with a somewhat later poem that does not deal with gender directly or try to justify (or condemn) Henri's own sins, but that is partly by a Frenchwoman living in England. The translator's preface, however, well illustrates an English tendency to see the fancy French as more feminine than the downright English. This is Gervase Markham's Devoreux: Vertues Teares for the Loss of the Most Christian King Henry, Third of that Name, King of Fraunce; and the Untimely Death, of the Most Noble & Heroicall Gentleman, Walter Devoreux, who was Slaine before Roan in Fraunce, printed in London in 1597 and, continues the title page, First Written in French, by the Most Excellent and Learned Gentlewoman, Madame Genevuefve, Petau Maulette.We do not know when GeneviEve Petau wrote, although she must have done so after the siege of Rouen in late 1591. Because her poem is lost, we cannot gauge Markham's fidelity; he calls his version 'peraphrastically translated'. The work's agenda seems to be to encourage admiration of Essex, older brother of the fallen Walter, and perhaps to encourage the Devereux family to admire Petau/Markham. It also has an indirect connection to the Sidney family, being dedicated fulsomely to Essex's sisters Penelope Rich--Philip Sidney's 'Stella'--and Dorothy, countess of Northumberland.

The work's mother, says Markham's preface (sigs. A2-A1v), 'first created and brought it forth in England', took it with her to France, but then sent it to him 'to apparrell in our English fashions, desirous (for his sake whom it most adoreth) that it might principally do your Ladiships service'. The original is 'exceeding rich in French imbroderie', but Markham hopes that if his lines seem too 'patch'd, or too homely' (one can hear a subtle boast of sturdy Englishness inside this humility), why then the ladies can look on it with their gilding eyes and the poem's 'earthines doubtlesse shall be stellified', possibly a graceful allusion to Sidney's Astrophil and Stella. 'Our Realme', he continues, 'boasts not naturally of silkes, which are gaudie and soone vanishe, but of her playne broad-cloth, which is comlie and durable; if such like be my Paraphras upon this French ground, I am all I would be'. That the original is by a woman does nothing to counter this image of the French as overdressed and volatile--like their politics. Devereux had fallen, to be sure, in the service of the gallant Navarre, but according to a dispatch from Rouen by Thomas Coningsby, a cousin of the Sidneys, English soldiers did not much admire their allies, saying that 'Frenchemen are not so skillfull in their approches nor so speedie as some other nations are'. (21)

Petau was herself Protestant, married in 1591 to John Gordon, an ambitiously slippery man who became Dean of Salisbury after a career including service to Charles IX, Henri III, and Mary Stuart (and at one point the obtaining of a letter of recommendation from the Huguenot scholar Peter Ramus, later murdered during the 1572 massacre). 'Family tradition', says David Mullan in the online Dictionary of National Biography, 'claims that Genevieve became French tutor to the Princess Elizabeth (1596-1662)', but this is without 'independent confirmation'. She also apparently did a translation of James I's Basilikon Doron that Jean Hotman, son of the famous Huguenot, had suppressed as, he thought, inadequate. (22) Her (and Markham's) poem weeps for more than 250 eight-line stanzas in a style suggesting a marriage between Seneca and Spenser with Lucan as best man, prefaced by smoothly flattering sonnets by Richard Allot and Everard Guilpin. Most of it concentrates on Walter Devereux, who died trying to make Henri IV fully king of France, but much remembers Henri III. (23) It begins with the narrator, tired from weeping over 'the aged raines of withered Fraunce' (it is not clear if the 'raines' are anatomical or monarchical or both), venturing out along a stream, where he meets a 'soule-sad Nymph' named Aretea, presumably a Latinized version of 'Arete', Greek for 'excellence, merit'. Crowned with cypress and with a well-made but now stained and tattered dress, she says she is the one 'on whom some-times did hange | The rule of Fraunce, her sway, her Emperie' (stanza 21). But now all is 'topsie-turvie throwne on every side', her enemies having 'torne my vesture, broake my will'; now 'doth the father hate his lyving sonne, | The neighbour loathes his neighbour bounds him in, | The married paire would have their knot undone [...] All they desire is civill home alarmes | Burning the houses of their owne receite' (24-25). With 'Mars giving blood-drunk Ate new release' (26), these 'Paracids' are 'minotaurs of shame' (29). (24) Witness the murder of 'that almighty Henry; | Henry de Valois, on whom vertue rings: | Under whose gracious aspect, I did hope, | My lawes should take new vertue, larger scope' (30). She had joined to him 'Th'other great Henry: whose in-sight | Might guide, support, and governe him in right' (31). But 'these monstrous men [...] Whom the earth-shaking heavens in thunder fram'd, | To make my ruine boundlesse' have now 'rays'd their bloodbath'd hands, yet unasham'd, | Against the Lords anoynted' (32). Poor unsuspecting king! Oh Fortune! Oh Providence! We see what ambition with its 'painted cheeke' can do: 'These tyrannous blood-drinking miscrea[n]ts' have 'slaine their King; An act which did exceed | The worst that Time noteth in recreants' (49-50).

No wonder that Aretea now remembers ancient Rome and how ambition was then, too, 'Mother of civill discord, home-bred teares' and devourer of 'Prides Minion' (stanza 52; 'minion' not being, perhaps, the word to use in a lament for Henri III). Luckily, England's Pallas (that would be Elizabeth) has sent France soldiers comparable to heroes of old. There follows a roll-call of English captains, and the transition to the praise of and lament for the heroic Devereux family is complete. Or it is consciously, for a later stanza (143) compares the love inspired by Devereux, here praised in terms drawn from the Song of Songs by way of Petrarch, to that between Hercules and Hylas and between 'Stix-washt' Achilles and Patroclus. It is as though the negative rumours about Henri III have been displaced, and rendered positive, on to Penelope Rich's brother. After some stanzas on the virtues of Henri IV, we get to Devereux's final exploits but also to some quite powerful stanzas (198-99): the horror of war is inadequately disguised, says the speaker, by theatrics and rhetorical cosmetics. Then there is more praise of Henri IV and his moderation, and a vision of Walter Devereux's tomb in 'this worlds Theater'. (25) The effect of this long poem, originally embroidered ... la francaise before being dressed in plain English clothes and made glittering by two sets of eyes belonging to Englishwomen with a French-sounding family name, is curious: murdering the great Henri III was horrible, but it is Devereux who inspires love comparable to ancient homoerotic passion; civil war, Roman or French, is inexcusable, but Henri IV, adviser of his Valois cousin, is, like the English soldiers, nobly heroic, except that war is itself a painted slut. Petau/Markham's dissonance is morally confusing but entirely appropriate to the poem's occasion.

For whatever reason, the royalist but not absolutist Garnier set several of his plays at a time when an empire had replaced or was about to replace a republic--and, as all his readers would have remembered, this means also at a time when the Christian era had begun or was about to begin, even if those who people his dramas could hardly have known this. Whatever was true for the Lucan of the Civil Wars or for Seneca, the French and English of Garnier's own day would have recalled that during the titanic struggle among those with big names--Pompey, Octavius, Antony, Cicero, Cleopatra, Brutus--in a small land to the north-east of Egypt, on the edge of empire, a new world was about to be born. Garnier's Roman plays are secular, but his readers must have had the pleasant feeling of knowing something that the protagonists did not know, just as audiences of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra could hear and briefly ponder passing allusions to Herod (for example, Act III Scene 3). That is why, even in plays set in a time when the Ciceros, Cornelias, and Portias gave way to the Caesars and Neros, and freedom (for the rich) gave way to dictatorship by way of civil war, some might hear--or imagine--religious overtones in the occasional anticipations of Rome's eventual ruin.

Garnier must have expected readers to hear these implications all the more strongly, because the language of ruin that he deploys in Marc Antoine and Cornelie is almost flashily indebted to Joachim du Bellay's well-known sonnet sequence on Rome's fall, the Antiquitez de Rome (1558). Mary Sidney would have known the same sequence well, if only after completing her translation, for it was published in Spenser's 1591 Complaints as 'The Ruines of Rome', and echoes from it add pathos to his 'Ruines of Time', a poem on another ruined city that laments the loss of Mary Sidney's brother Philip. Du Bellay's sonnets, like Garnier's plays, do not spell out the implications but they hardly needed to: for a character to anticipate Rome's ruin in the days of Cleopatra and Antony is to invite a reader or audience to remember, in the days of Henri III or Elizabeth, what replaced it: in retrospect, in hoc signo vinceris, so to speak. In 1590, though, Mary Sidney might well have also associated the language of ruination with modern Rome's anticipated fall, and hence with the rebuilding of a Temple that Caesar's people had physically destroyed and that the Pope's people had spiritually corrupted. Just as du Bellay's ambivalence towards Rome derives in part from the spectacle of loss combined with awareness that less Rome means more Paris, Mary Sidney's ruins seem to have been both moving and, if we may judge from her psalm translations, oddly satisfying.

In this regard her Antonie is usefully read together with her translation of the psalms, the crossover suggesting yet one more reason she was drawn to this particular play. Antony and Cleopatra are morally slippery, sensual, more mud than marble, seemingly in contrast to Augustus Caesar and Rome's rectilinear skyward reaching architecture, but empire is slippery too. Particularly in the post-Armada years, the English had often turned to such a discourse for anti-Catholic polemic--or for sonnets urging a young man to marry. Fragments of such a discourse had been exploited before 1591, but Mary Sidney's Antonius, in its completed if not its printed version, is among the first texts to do so in the language of mutability about to be made more familiar by Spenser and then by Daniel, Drayton, Shakespeare, and others. (26)

There are touches of the 'ruination' style in Cornelie, some of it clearly based on the Antiquitez and translated by Kyd with considerable power. His Cicero, for example, denounces 'civill furie' and declares that Rome, once the terror of the world, 'Could never have beene curb'd but by it selfe', a point that the Antiquitez stresses. (27) There are a number of such echoes in Marc Antoine, but the chorus that closes Act II must have struck Mary Sidney with particular force: Time overthrows 'Every thing' (ll. 833-37) and with his 'great sithe mowes all away | As the stalke of tender rose'. Only 'immortalitie' is able to face his power, but
 One daie there will come a daie
 Which shall quaile thy fortunes flower
 And thee ruinde low shall laie
 In some barbarous Princes power.
 When the pittie-wanting fire
 Shall, O Rome, thy beauties burne,
 And to humble ashes turne
 Thy proud wealth and rich attire,
 Those guilt [fine pun!] roofes which turretwise,
 Justly making envy mourne,
 Threaten now to pearce Skies.

 (ii. 840-50)


Just as Rome's forces now 'fill each land' and Rome goes 'Reaping all with ravening hand', one day multitudes will come to despoil the city, leaving 'no jote' as a token 'that thou wert so great of olde'. This will not be the first time an empire has fallen:
 Like unto the ancient Troie
 Whence deriv'de thy founders be,
 Conqu'ring foe shall the enjoie,
 And a burning praie in thee.
 For within this turning ball
 This we see, and see each daie:
 All things fixed ends do staie,
 Ends to first beginnings fall.
 And that nought, how strong or strange
 Chaungeles doth endure alwaie,
 But endureth fatall change

 (ii. 862-72)


It is here that Antonie and the psalms intersect, adding to the play's tragic irony--and perhaps offering some grim consolation. (28) Over and over her psalm translations Mary Sidney adds traces of this language with little warrant in her originals and, especially if we can judge by the deployment of similar rhetoric in English anti-Catholic polemic, with a triumphalist tone. In Psalm 49, for example, the proud man 'thinkes his house shall not decaie, | nor time his glorious buildings overthrow', while in Psalm 66 the 'rebell who against him bandeth, | of Ruins cup shall quickly tast'. In Psalm 74 God's enemies have destroyed his holy places, 'and have such ruthlesse ruyns wrought, | that all thy house is raste, | So raste, and so defast, | that of that all remayneth nought'. But Psalm 102 foresees that Jerusalem will be restored: 'eternall thou eternally dost bide, | thy memory noe yeares can freat,' while God's servants await the day
 when she, who like a Carcasse lay
 stretch'd forth in Ruines beare
 shall soe arise and live,
 that Nations all Jehovas name shall feare,
 all kings to thee shall glory give.
 Because thou has a new
 Made Sion stand, restor'd to view ...
 tyme interest in thee hath none.


If, from Caesar's ancient and unwitting perspective, the Roman ruins are yet to come, they are, from Mary Sidney's own point of view, the objects of a conscious Protestant anticipated precondition of a restored Holy City; compare an illustration in the Geneva Bible that shows a rebuilt temple against a background of ruins--the ruins of the City of Man, doubtless, but also the ruins of Babylon and Rome.

This complex of words and phrases in Garnier's drama, then, is a compelling example of how even a close translation can change meaning: his chorus foresees the collapse of Rome, and the author can remember, if he likes, the Francus of his friend Ronsard's Franciade founding a New Troy and anticipating France's claim to its share of a translated empire; if he is the new Sophocles/ Seneca, France is the new Greece/Rome. But the same prophecy for Mary Sidney can both recall the ruins of Rome and anticipate the end of the pope's Rome, indeed of proud Time itself, when all things are firmly stayed upon the pillars of eternity. In sum, plays with more stable heroines or more manly heroes, plays with less ambiguous politics, would have offered, paradoxically, less satisfaction in a mutable world.

ANNE LAKE PRESCOTT

Barnard College, Columbia University

(1) See my 'Mary Sidney's French Sophocles: the Countess of Pembroke Translates Robert Garnier', in a forthcoming volume ed. by Jean-Christophe Mayer. A 1589 English edition of Seneca describes him as a Spanish follower of Euripides and Aeschylus under Nero's tyranny (sigs A2-A3); modern scholars minimize his debts to Greek theatre, but that this edition ties him to Athens is a reminder that Elizabethans could easily relate Senecan traditions to Greek ones. It is hard to know what to call the Countess of Pembroke without eliminating part of her identity. I use 'Mary Sidney', although her marriage to an earl might have increased her distrust of royal absolutism.

(2) Several recent books are central to this investigation. Andrew M. Kirk, in the opening chapter of The Mirror of Confusion: The Representation of French History in English Renaissance Drama (New York and London: Garland, 1996), notes an English stress on overseas confusion and a tendency to read the French as a feminized 'other'. Richard Hillman's invaluable Shakespeare, Marlowe and the Politics of France (New York: Palgrave, 2002) insists that we look towards France to understand Elizabethan drama. Lisa Ferraro Parmalee's Good Newes from Fraunce: French Anti-League Propaganda in Late Elizabethan England (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1996) has a useful list of texts printed in England, though omitting most literary ones.

(3) Curtis Perry, 'The Politics of Access and Representations of the Sodomite King in Early Modern England', Renaissance Quarterly, 53.4 (2000), 1054-83. Perry ignores the political wavering and failure to produce a son that worsened Henri's reputation, but his is an important essay.

(4) Richard Hillman, 'De-Centring the Countesss's Circle: Mary Sidney Herbert and Cleopatra', Renaissance and Reformation, 28 (2004), 61-79. For a divergent view see Elizabeth Sauer, 'Closet Drama, and the Case of Tyrannicall-Government Anatomized', in The Book of the Play: Playwrights, Stationers, and Readers in Early Modern England, ed. by Marta Straznicky (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006), pp. 80-95. Not part of that 'circle', but interested in Garnier, Thomas Kyd translated Cornelie.

(5) A Collection of State Papers Relating to Affairs in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, From the Year 1571 to 1596, ed. by William Murdin (London:William Bowyer, 1759), p. 698. Sidney's advice, proffered in 1595, suggests that Elizabeth make sure Henri IV ask for her help first.

(6) Paul J. Voss, Elizabethan News Pamphlets: Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe & the Birth of Journalism (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 2001).

(7) It is hard to know the truth about Henri III or how we would read it if we did. For Joseph Cady the gossip shows a belief in a quasi-permanent sexual orientation; see 'The "Masculine Love" of the "Princes of Sodom", 'Practising the Art of Ganymede' at Henri III's Court: The Homosexuality of Henri III and his Mignons in Pierre de L'Estoile's Memoires-Journaux', in Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West, ed. by Jacqueline Murray and Konrad Eisenbichler (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 123-54. For the influential view that 'homosexuality' is a recent concept as well as a recent word see Randolph Trumbach, 'Renaissance Sodomy, 1500-1700', in A Gay History of Britain: Love and Sex between Men since the Middle Ages, ed. by Matt Cook with H. G. Cocks, Robert Mills, and Randolph Trumbach (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007), pp. 45-76. On Henri's reputation see also Anita M. Walker and Edmund H. Dickerman, 'The King Who Would Be Man: Henri III, Gender Identity and the Murders at Blois, 1588', Historical Reflections/ Reflections Historiques, 24 (1998), 253-81; Keith Cameron, 'Satire, Dramatic Stereotyping, and the Demonization of Henri III', in The Sixteenth-Century Religious Book, ed. by Andrew Pettegree, Paul Nelles, and Philip Conner (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), pp. 157-76 (with illustrations, including one showing Henri's arm and extended fingers, tense with desire, set to assault a praying nun: Henri was thought an equal-opportunity abuser); Katherine B. Crawford, 'Love, Sodomy, and Scandal: Controlling the Sexual Reputation of Henry III', Journal of the History of Sexuality, 12.4 (2003), 513-42; and Kathleen Perry Long, Hermaphrodites in Renaissance Europe (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006). Robert Shephard points out that before their deaths sexual gossip about Elizabeth was worse than that about James; see 'Sexual Rumours in English Politics: The Cases of Elizabeth I and James I', in Desire and Discipline, ed. Murray and Eisenbichler, pp. 101-22. Philip Sidney's Arcadia flirts with the homoerotic, but his princes were not trying to run a country.

(8) Pierre de Ronsard, Ouvres complEtes, ed. by Jean Ceard, Daniel Menager, and Michel Simonin, 2 vols, new edn (Paris: Gallimard, 1993-94), II, 1231, 1246-47.

(9) In this essay I give English dates in the Julian count and French ones in the Gregorian. The ten-day disparity could be confusing: Antony Colynet's True History of the Civill Warres of France (London: Orwin, 1591) has Henri III die on 22 July (sig. Dd4v), which is close, but later (sig. Dd8v) refers to 'the 31 of July, which to the Papistes is the 21 of August'.

(10) See Sidney L. Sondergard, Sharpening her Pen: Strategies of Rhetorical Violence by Early Modern English Women Writers (Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 2002), p. 79. The chapter on Dowriche sees a feminist poetic and an advocacy of a national voice rather than sectarian violence (Sondergard, though, is confused by the concluding motto, 'Virescit vulnere veritas', because he mistranslates it as 'It grows to wound Truth' rather than as 'Truth flourishes through [its] wound' (p. 82)). Randall Martin calls Catherine the consummate Machiavellian and says Dowriche elevates Christian pacifism and heroic suffering over vengeance (Garnier would applaud); see 'Anne Dowriche's The French History, Christopher Marlowe, and Machiavellian Agency', Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 39.1 (1999), 69-87. Megan Matchinske stresses her providentialism; see 'Moral, Method, and History in Anne Dowriche's The French Historie', English Literary Renaissance, 34.2 (2004), 176-200. Elaine Beilin notes the more militant Protestants' dismay at Elizabeth's accommodations with Henri III; see '"Some Freely Spake their Minde": Resistance in Anne Dowriche's French Historie', in Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain, ed. by Mary E. Burke, Jane Donawerth, Linda Dove, and Karen Nelson (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000), pp. 119-40.

(11) Printed in London by Thomas Woodcock, one of several works responding to Sixtus V's defence of Clement.

(12) Discours des preparations faictes par frere jaques clement ... (Lyon, 1589); true, the same psalm says not to trust princes. For another admiring pamphlet available on the Bibliotheque nationale's Gallica website see Edme Bourgoing, Discours veritable de l'estrange et subite mort de Henry de Valois, advenue par permisison divine (Lyon: Jean Pillehotte, 1589).

(13) Douglas Waters, in Duessa as Theological Satire (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1970), describes a number of such polemics, although not those I use here.

(14) Voss (Elizabethan News Pamphlets, pp. 52-53) doubts the existence of a French original, thinking this another of Cecil's concoctions, but l'Estoile notes a Lettre d'un Gentilhomme Francois ... dame Jacquette Clement, princesse boiteuse de la Ligue, dated August 25, quotes its opening (the same as in the English), gives a final sonnet (omitted by the translator) to the duc de Mayenne, mentioning the pun, audible in the older pronunciation, on Mayenne/Moynes (monks). See Pierre de L'Estoile, Registre-Journal du regne de Henri VI, III: 1588-1589, ed. by Madeleine Lazard and Gilbert Schrenck (Geneva: Droz, 2003), p. 219. L'Estoile adds, as though looking for company in his shock, a list of 'various peoples who have assassinated, expelled, or otherwise maltreated their kings' (p. 223; England has killed four and expelled two). For another example of sexualizing ideological conflict see A Subtill practice, wrought in Paris by Fryer Frauncis, who deceived Fryer Donnet of a sweet skind Nun which he secretly kept, procured him to go to Rome, where he tolde the Pope a notable lie concerning the taking of the king of France prisoner by the Duke de Mayne: For which they whipt eche other so greevously in Rome, that they died thereof within two days after (London: Thomas Nelson, 1590).

(15) Barnes also printed Skeltonicall Salutation, or Condigne Gratulation | And Just Vexation | Of the Spanish Nation, | That in a Bravado, | Spent Many a Crusado | In Setting Forth an Armado | England to Invado (Oxford, 1589), anonymous lines that condemn the 'factione Guisiana' and, like De caede, pun on 'Medicis' [Catherine de] Medicis and as 'doctor', the 'Chirugis avaris' (sig. A4v).

(16) Hoyt H. Hudson, 'An Oxford Epigram Book of 1589', Huntington Library Quarterly, 2 (1939), 213-17. On the dedication and the printing history of the Arcadia see William L. Godshalk, 'Sidney's Revision of the Arcadia, Books III-V', Philological Quarterly, 43 (1964), 171-84.

(17) Joel Davis, 'Multiple Arcadias and the Literary Quarrel between Fulke Greville and the Countess of Pembroke', Studies in Philology, 101.4 (2004), 401-30; p. 12, citing Godshalk. Godshalk wrongly calls De caede a 'pamphlet', and this otherwise informative essay follows him.

(18) A poem on the duc de Guise's tomb (sig. A2) says 'He who wished to snatch away the king's sword with his hands | [himself] bears sword-wounds at the king's hands'.

(19) The Latin reads 'Catharinae de Medicis Epitaphium: Gallorum gallina jacet, tribus incluta gallis, | Gallia tam Gallos desine ferre novos.'

(20) Kate Chedgzoy, 'This Pleasant and Sceptred Isle: Insular Fantasies of National Identity in Anne Dowriche's The French Historie and William Shakespeare's Richard II', in Archipelagic Identities: Literature and Identity in the Atlantic Archipelago, 1550-1800, ed. by Philip Schwyzer and Simon Mealor (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 25-42. Chedgzoy is vexed with Shakespeare's Gaunt for calling England an island, thus erasing Wales and Scotland, and, mystifyingly, she thinks du Bellay a 'French Protestant' and his Antiquitez among 'key texts of Reformation literature' (p. 34).

(21) Rachael Poole, 'A Journal of the Siege of Rouen in 1591', English Historical Review, 17 (1902), 527-37 (p. 533).

(22) See G. H. M. Posthumus Meyjes, Jean Hotman's English Connection (Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, 1990).

(23) There has been almost no commentary on this poem. Lesel Dawson rightly calls it 'a profoundly political poem, associating the virtues of martial heroism and militant Protestantism specifically with the Essex faction', but also sees 'highly patriarchal sexual politics' deployed against female rule; see Dawson, 'The Earl of Essex and the Trials of History: Gervase Markham's The Dumbe Knight', Review of English Studies, 53 (2002), 344-64. I cannot see this, if only because its desperate France wants Elizabeth's aid, and to say that it 'concentrates almost exclusively on the English knight' is inaccurate.

(24) In Daniel's Rosalind (1592), the fallen protagonist is the 'minotaur of shame'.

(25) Compare Devereux's race to battle in stanza 193 ('Never rode Bride-grome to salute his Bride, | With such delight as hee to his unrest') with Shakespeare's Antony telling Eros that 'I will be | A bridegroom in my death, and run into't | As to a lover's bed' (iv.15. 99-101).

(26) See also Anne Lake Prescott, 'The Countess of Pembroke's Ruins of Rome', Sidney Journal, 23 (2005), 1-17.

(27) The Works of Thomas Kyd, ed. by Frederick S. Boas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901; 1955, repr. 1962), i. 50, 58. See also II. 267-74, although applied to other cities; III. 246-49, on the rise and fall of empires; and III. 378-79, on Time's mutability. Lukas Erne rightly praises the poetry of Kyd's translation; see Beyond the Spanish Tragedy: A Study of the Works of Thomas Kyd (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), pp. 203-216. It was once said that Kyd's French was inadequate to his task, but see Josephine A. Roberts and James F. Gaines, 'Kyd and Garnier: The Art of Amendment', Comparative Literature, 31 (1979), 124-33; p. 131 observes that 'ennobling endurance is at the heart of Cornelia' (hardly the essence of Marc Antoine).

(28) The similarity between David's and the chorus's anticipation of revenge is also noted by Mary Sidney's modern editors (p. 145). The League could also cite such Scripture for its purpose: a pamphlet by the Sieur d'Estouneaux, Les derniers propos de Henry de Valois, jadis roy, et tyran de France (Lyon: Tantillon, 1589), has a fragment from Psalm 51/52 on the title page: 'Dieu te ruinera eternellement, il te brisera, & te rasera du Tabernacle, & te des-racinera, de la terre des vivans'. Such language remained commoner in Protestant than in Guisard polemic.
COPYRIGHT 2008 Modern Humanities Research Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Prescott, Anne Lake
Publication:Yearbook of English Studies
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:9685
Previous Article:Gismond of Salerne: an Elizabethan and Cupidean tragedy.
Next Article:Reading Tudor writing politically: the case of 2 Henry IV.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters