Educating a princess: Elizabeth I's Commonplace book

Duncan, Moira (2019) Educating a princess: Elizabeth I's Commonplace book. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Elizabeth I (1558-1603) received an exceptional humanist education in a time when female learning primarily meant moral and domestic training. Elizabeth’s instruction combined elements of both the privately oriented domestic education of women and the more public rhetorical training reserved primarily for men. Her educational model is most clearly shown in the commonplace book associated with her, which constituted a vital component and indispensable tool in her training. In 1563 a commonplace book, entitled Precationes Priuate, Regiae E[lizabethae]. R[eginae] (STC 7576.7) was published under Elizabeth’s name by the London printer Thomas Purfoot. Aside from Precationes, or private prayers, the composite volume also includes two other works: Sententiae, a collection of sayings, and Regna Quibis Imperat Elizabeta Regina Angliae, a detailed description of the administrative bodies of her realm. Not only are these elements typically found in both male and female commonplace books, but they also reveal her unique princely education shaped by both feminine and masculine rhetorical instruction. The same gendered duality that is present in her commonplace book is also detectable in her speeches. In fact, Elizabeth applied the same compositional techniques associated with her commonplace book in her speeches written for both her subjects and parliament.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14016
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-96).
Keywords: Elizabeth I, Commonplace Book, Speeches, Gender, Education
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: July 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603--Knowledge and learning; Commonplace books--History--16th century

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