The Queen's voice: Elizabeth I's christian prayers and meditations

Clement, Jennifer (2008) The Queen's voice: Elizabeth I's christian prayers and meditations. Early Modern Literary Studies, 13 3: .

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Author Clement, Jennifer
Title The Queen's voice: Elizabeth I's christian prayers and meditations
Journal name Early Modern Literary Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1201-2459
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 13
Issue 3
Total pages 14
Editor Matthew Steggle
Place of publication Sheffield, United Kingdom
Publisher Department of English, School of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In this paper I examine the prayers written in Queen Elizabeth I's voice in the 1569 volume Christian Prayers and Meditations to show how the prayers negotiate the problem of Elizabeth's gender through the language of weakness. The prayers repeatedly assert the queen's weakness, sinfulness, and humility, and while these are conventional assertions in early modern religious writing, they strategically place the queen in a powerful position from which she can claim a divine right to the throne and a direct link to God. In these prayers, Elizabeth's female sex becomes a mark of God's favor, through which the divine power can manifest itself even more potently than it might through a male ruler.

Although it seems very likely that Elizabeth did indeed write the prayers published in this volume, as asserted by the editors of the 2000 Collected Works, I suggest that it is more important to read Christian Prayers as a text that produces the effect of Elizabeth as an author, and thus as a contributor to the construction of Elizabeth's public image as a powerful ruler and, like her father, a second David. As in the Psalms, the prayers acknowledges the queen's own shortcomings and sins, but like David, Elizabeth appears as a ruler whom God will always support and love. Finally, the queen's image as an author draws strength from the comparison of Elizabeth with David, the putative author of the Psalms.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Communication and Arts Publications
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