As Lori Anne Ferrell has remarked of James’s rule in England after 1603, the style of his kingship and his preferred methods of dealing with threats to his authority were ‘splendidly logocentric’. This characterization of James I applies equally well to his younger self in James VI. He was keenly aware of the persuasive power of the spoken and written word to contest his authority, but he was also unusually capable and inventive in his use of prose and poetry to defend that authority and to publicize and advance his interests. Alongside his published works of the 1580s and early 1590s, this paper re-examines the ways in which James deployed a wide array of methods and media in promoting his agenda and in appealing to various publics. In ceremony and speech, in heated disputation and friendly conversation, through sermon and pamphlet, in letter and sonnet, as patron and author, James VI showed himself to be expert in publicizing his kingship.
Dr Alex Courtney has worked extensively on Jacobean kingship.
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