Image Wars


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Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England, 1603-1660

Kevin Sharpe

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Spin and photo opportunities may appear to have emerged onto the political scene only recently, but in fact image and its manipulation have always been vital to the authority of rulers. This book, the second in Kevin Sharpe’s trilogy exploring image, power, and communication in early modern England, examines its importance during the turbulent seventeenth century. From the coronation of James I to the end of Cromwell’s protectorate, Sharpe considers how royalists and parliamentarians—often using the same vocabularies—sought to manage their public image through words, pictures, and performances in order to win support and secure and enhance their authority.

Kevin Sharpe is director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and professor of renaissance studies at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of The Personal Rule of Charles I, Reading Revolutions, and Selling the Tudor Monarchy. He lives in Warwickshire, England.

'This is a formidable book and part of a formidable series...The research is remarkable for its depth and breadth...a mine of useful information and lively comment.' — John Morrill, BBC History Magazine

'This is a formidable book and part of a formidable series… Image Wars is lavishly illustrated…and it has been handsomely packaged by Yale University Press…It is a mine of useful information and lively comment…. This book is excellent.' John Morrill, BBC History Magazine

"As with all his work, Kevin Sharpe’s book is learned and clever, rich in detail and provocative in outline. It is a significant statement about the cultural construction of political power in early modern England."—Michael Braddick, Times Literary Supplement

"Sharpe makes skilful use here of a wide range of source materials…and presents a well argued case for the achievements of the first two Stuarts as image-makers…. This is obviously a work of deep research…it is well written and consistently argumentative."—R.C. Richardson, Times Higher Education

"Kevin Sharpe’s Image Wars is the mammoth second volume of a monumental trilogy…The scholarship will ensure that this book, like its predecessor, will endure as testimony to a remarkable project."—Greg Walker, The Art Newspaper

"This is a truly monumental book."—Patrick Little, History Today

Image Wars . . . is likely to be a significant part of the conversation about early-modern English politics for some time to come.”—Seventeenth Century News

“Sharpe has produced one of the most ambitious cross-disciplinary studies of politics and visual culture in the period.”—Studies in English Literature

"The book is learned and inventive, lucidly argued and exhaustively documented, definitive in places, and helpfully speculative in others. . . . It is a volume to be pondered over, argued with, and enthusiastically welcomed."—Alastair Bellany, Journal of British Studies

Long listed for the Historians of British Art book prize
ISBN: 9780300240290
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
512 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
90 b/w illus.
Reading Revolutions

The Politics of Reading in Early Modern England

Kevin Sharpe

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Politics, Transgression, and Representation at the Court of Charles II

Edited by Julia Marciari Alexander and Catharine MacLeod; W

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Selling the Tudor Monarchy

Authority and Image in Sixteenth-Century England

Kevin Sharpe

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Rebranding Rule

The Restoration and Revolution Monarchy, 1660-1714

Kevin Sharpe

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