By Karen Cunningham
In 1352 King Edward III had accelerated the felony definition of treason to incorporate the act of imagining the dying of the king, beginning up the class of "constructive" treason, during which even a subject's options may perhaps develop into the foundation for prosecution. by means of the 16th century, treason used to be perceived as an more and more severe chance and policed with a brand new urgency. bearing on the large early sleek literature near to treason, Imaginary Betrayals finds how and to what quantity principles of evidence and grounds for conviction have been topic to prosecutorial development throughout the Tudor interval. Karen Cunningham appears to be like at modern documents of 3 admired circumstances so that it will reveal the measure to which the mind's eye used to be used to turn out treason: the 1542 attainder of Katherine Howard, 5th spouse of Henry VIII, charged with having had sexual family members with males ahead of her marriage; the 1586 case of Anthony Babington and twelve confederates, accused of plotting with the Spanish to invade England and assassinate Elizabeth; and the prosecution within the comparable yr of Mary, Queen of Scots, indicted for conspiring with Babington to engineer her personal accession to the throne.
Linking the inventiveness of the accusations and judgements in those circumstances to the creation of latest playtexts through Udall, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Kyd, Imaginary Betrayals demonstrates how the rising, versatile discourses of treason perform defining either person subjectivity and the valid Tudor nation. involved in competing representations of self and nationhood, Imaginary Betrayals explores the consequences of felony and literary representations within which woman sexuality, male friendship, or inner most letters are switched over into the indicators of treacherous imaginations.