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Counsel, public debate, and queenship : John Stubbs's 'The discoverie of a gaping gulf', 1579.

Mears, N. (2001) 'Counsel, public debate, and queenship : John Stubbs's 'The discoverie of a gaping gulf', 1579.', Historical journal., 44 (3). pp. 629-650.


John Stubbs's controversial pamphlet against Elizabeth's proposed marriage with Francis, duke of Anjou, The discoverie of a gaping gulf (1579), has conventionally been seen - with Edmund Spenser's The shepheardes calendar and Philip Sidney's letter to Elizabeth - as part of a propaganda campaign organized by Leicester and Walsingham to force Elizabeth to reject the marriage. Yet the evidence linking Stubbs with Leicester and Walsingham is thin. This article re-examines that evidence in the light of recent research on court factionalism, men-of-business, and concepts of counsel. It argues that A gaping gulf was an independent initiative taken by Stubbs which expressed very different attitudes to 'counsel' from Sidney's letter. It suggests that participants in public debate need to be explored on their own terms, rather than as necessarily catspaws of councillors; that there was an emergent Elizabethan public sphere independent of the court which, in holding different attitudes to counsel than councillors, could bring them into conflict with Elizabeth.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Elizabeth I, Francis Duke of Anjou, Marriage.
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
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Publisher Web site:10.1017/S0018246X01001947
Publisher statement:© Cambridge University Press 2001
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:23 May 2008
Date of first online publication:September 2001
Date first made open access:01 March 2023

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