International Politics and Jacobean Statecraft

Malcolm Smuts

in The Oxford Handbook of John Donne

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199218608
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

International Politics and Jacobean Statecraft

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Jacobean statecraft against the backdrop of international politics is the focus of this article. Apart from the notorious episode of the Spanish Match, Jacobean foreign policy has attracted much less attention than religion or domestic politics. This reflects the insular nature of work on early Stuart history and the ways in which the King's relations with Parliaments and issues figuring prominently in parliamentary debates have dominated treatments of his English reign. And yet James was a king with a wide British and European outlook, while many of his subjects also felt intense concern for events beyond England's borders. This was certainly true of John Donne, who counted several diplomats among his close friends and aspired to a diplomatic career before his ordination in 1615. In the period immediately after Donne received ordination and took up appointments as a royal chaplain and Reader at Lincoln's Inn. It is a consistent pattern, which historians have spotted.

Keywords: domestic politics; international politics; Jacobean foreign policy; King's relation; John Donne; Lincoln's Inn

Article.  5588 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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