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Doubtful and dangerousThe question of succession in late Elizabethan England$
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Susan Doran and Paulina Kewes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086069

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086069.001.0001

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Polemic and prejudice: a Scottish king for an English throne

Polemic and prejudice: a Scottish king for an English throne

(p.215) Chapter 11 Polemic and prejudice: a Scottish king for an English throne
Doubtful and dangerous

Susan Doran

Manchester University Press

Two major obstacles stood in the way of James’s VI’s claim to the English succession claim: prejudices surrounding his Scottish birth; and the general perception of him in England as untrustworthy. Using a wide range of literary and polemical texts, as well as some state papers, this chapter explores these drawbacks in turn, and analyses James’s strategies for overcoming them. The chapter argues that the discussions about James’s national identity had repercussions on the sense of nationhood developing in England during this period. It also reveals how the arguments about the nature of ‘Britishness’ in the 1590s came to be a dress-rehearsal for the union debates of the early Jacobean period.

Keywords:   James VI, Succession tracts, Anglo-Scottish union, Britishness, National identity, Chronicles, Drama

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