Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England Author’s Background Kevin Sharpe, born on January 26, 1949 in Rochester, Kent, finished his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford. According to Cunnane, Sharpe had stayed at Oriel College, Oxford, for four years before moving to University of Southampton where he was promoted as history professor and research director…
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n, 1586-1631: History and Politics in Early Modern England (1979). His Charles I of England garnered great attention from fellow historians (Hadfield). He received recognition in his “pioneering work in interdisciplinary sciences.” A historian of culture and politics, he was a pioneer in bringing to the study of the English Renaissance the perspectives into other disciplines. Sharpe’s style was characterized by his brilliant and “reader-friendly prose.” For him, historians should make their arguments in such a way so that the arguments could be easily understood by readers without sacrificing their standards. These are basically the reasons why Kevin Sharpe is considered a legitimate author for me. Book Themes Hero Worship in England The book covers a wide range of subject matters over a long span of time. The timeline includes the end of the House of Tudor and up to the restoration of monarchy after the Parliament failed. The representation is very common for England. Monarchs portrayed themselves in different ways, in which people would look them up to be someone in authority. Kevin Sharpe wanted to display how rulers of England during the 17th century represented themselves. Sharpe argued that governments during the early modern age in England had to display an appealing image with the purpose of securing support for their policies and authority (Cunnane, par. XIV). Elizabeth I portrayed herself “as an icon, a goddess elevated above political faction and fray.” She is more focused on how people will see her as a Queen. She had established an image of her own. Henry VIII, father of Elizabeth I, successfully branded monarchy as Tudor while Elizabeth branded her regime specifically as Elizabethan. Her successor, James I, the first Stuart to rule England, “symbolized motif of his representation-peace and received the universal gratitude of a people whose relief that England was spared destructive war was now audibly expressed” (Sharpe). James actually restored the “masculine rule” in England after the rule of childless Elizabeth for fifty years. “James presented himself, as biblical exegete and head of the church, as another David who, as God’s protected, would safeguard his people” (Cunnane). He was the first king to have an heir, two sons after more than a century of unsecured monarchy in England. “James chose to represent himself to his people through his words” (Cunnane). He was really into writing and thought that he could impose authority with the use of his pen. Most of his works were his own versions of the Scripture. “He commissioned the King James Authorized Version of the Bible in 1611, which still remains to be one of the most important Bible translations into English” (Cunnane). His son, Charles I, was known to have been quite different from him. “It is far too simple to argue that James paid no attention to his image or that Charles I developed a royal
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