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Bad Queen Bess?Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I$
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Peter Lake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198753995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198753995.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Libellous Politics and the Paradoxes of Publicity

Libellous Politics and the Paradoxes of Publicity

The Case/s For and Against Mary Stuart

(p.19) 1 Libellous Politics and the Paradoxes of Publicity
Bad Queen Bess?

Peter Lake

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the public fuss generated by the arrival of Mary Stuart in England and the projected match between Mary and the duke of Norfolk. This marks the arrival in England, from Scotland, of the libellous secret history, directed by the regime against Mary. Considerable attention is paid to a group of tracts by Thomas Norton, written in response to the revolt of the northern earls, in which, while ostensibly defending the Elizabethan state, Norton also made serious criticisms of the status quo, and proposed various means whereby that state might be purged of Catholics and crypto-Catholics and the regime’s true supporters amongst the godly might be discovered and rewarded; an offensive that provoked an, if not overtly Catholic, then an aggressively anti-Puritan, defence of Mary and Norfolk, with which Norton’s works are compared and contrasted.

Keywords:   Mary Stuart, Thomas Norton, libellous secret history, anti-Puritan, popularity, popery, print, propaganda

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