Dressed to impress
Whitelock, Anna and Hunt, Alice (eds.)
Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth.
(Queenship and Power).
Restricted to Repository staff only
Studies of Mary and Elizabeth often stress how they differed from each other: different mothers, different religions, different reputations as monarchs, different attitudes to clothes. However, recent research has emphasized the things they had in common, notably the issues of gender and queenship. This essay examines how both women used clothes to create their identities before and after their accession, and it considers how their use of clothes as queens regnant compares to the ways in which the Tudor kings used clothes to assert their place at the forefront of English society, their right to rule and their individual identity. In order to establish what clothes reveal about female royal power in sixteenth-century England, the essay focuses on five themes: clothing for occasions of estate; clothing and the female life-cycle; clothing as an expression of religious beliefs; everyday dress; and the use of clothes as gifts, both given and received.
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