History, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 2007


Published in Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 58, Number 2, Summer 2007, pp. 248-249; DOI: 10.1353/shq.2007.0027 Copyright 2007 The Folger Library; published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Used by permission.


In a clever play on words, Louis Montrose’s important new book on Elizabeth I suggests a study with Elizabeth both as the focus and as a topic of her people’s discourse. The title also suggests the importance of Elizabeth in understanding early modern England; this book is not itself simply about Elizabeth but about how this queen was created, understood, and negotiated by her subjects, male and female. As Montrose points out, all of Elizabeth’s subjects produced and reproduced their queen in a variety of ways throughout their daily practices. And throughout her reign, the queen’s image was manipulated by her foreign enemies as well. ... This is a very rich book by an author who has spent much of his professional career studying Elizabeth and who has an encyclopedic knowledge of texts about her. It is full of very sophisticated close readings and well repays the attention it demands. The Subject of Elizabeth will be read and discussed for many years to come.

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