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The queen's two hands

Gibson, Jonathan (2011). The queen's two hands. In: Petrina, Alessandra ed. Representations of Elizabeth I in Early Modern Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 47–65.

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In this chapter, I analyse the different 'hands' (or styles of handwriting) used by Elizabeth I: the italic hand in which her earliest texts were written, a later italic, and the rough, 'skrating' hand in which she wrote informal manuscripts after her accession to the throne. I link the second italic hand to exemplars in Giovambattista Palatino's Libro nuovo d'imparare a scrivere tutte sorte de lettere (1540), a handwriting manual owned by Elizabeth's brother, Edward VI, who, like Elizabeth, imitated its letter-forms. I show that the ornamentation in Elizabeth's famous signature derives from samples in Palatino's book. I also re-examine the gendering of handwriting in early modern England and the significance of the contrast between Elizabeth's 'skrating' hand and the formality of her signature.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2011 Introduction, selection and editorial matter Alessandra Petrina and Laura Tosi, 2011 Individual chapters the contributors
ISBN: 0-230-27817-5, 978-0-230-27817-2
Keywords: handwriting; early modern manuscripts; Elizabeth I; Giovambattista Palatino; Edward VI
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: History of Books and Reading (HOBAR)
Item ID: 36876
Depositing User: Jonathan Gibson
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 10:31
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:44
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