Edited, with an introduction, by Daniel Fischlin and Mark Fortier.
Absolute monarch, scholar, pedant, wit, radical thinker, philosopher-king? James I’s unique writings are more often known of than known and read. This is in large measure because they are not available in adequately annotated, modernised, and affordable editions. This volume in the new series Tudor and Stuart Texts rectifies this situation. Readers will find that these texts are of interest on any number of counts, shedding considerable light on the mind and personality of James VI and I (1566-1625), who ascended the Scottish throne upon the deposition of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, and the English throne with the death of Elizabeth I. The True Law of Free Monarchies is a theoretical justification of the divine right of kings; Basilikon Doron (or the king’s gift) is a pragmatic guide, a “how to” book, that combines James’s personal experiences as king of Scotland, with his scholarly and literary notions of the ideal comportment of the monarch. The True Law of Free Monarchies and Basilikon Doron are not merely historical curiosities or amateur diversions. Both are rhetorically and intellectually sophisticated performances, which illuminate Renaissance notions of kingship and of the nature and uses of power.
This volume, designed for use by students in history, English, political science, and cultural studies, provides a unique opportunity to reconsider James’s literary and historical career as both an early modern writer and monarch.
Daniel Fischlin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Guelph.
Mark Fortier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Winnipeg. Both have published widely in the areas of Renaissance studies, critical theory, and cultural studies.
Tudor and Stuart Texts 1
Institutions outside of Ontario may purchase this title by contacting Iter.
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