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Bajetta, Carlo M.; Coatalen, Guillaume and Gibson, Jonathan (2014). Introduction. In: Bajetta, Carlo M.; Coatalen, Guillaume and Gibson, Jonathan eds. Elizabeth I’s Foreign Correspondence: Letters, Rhetoric, and Politics. Queenship and Power. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, xix-xxv.

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Queen Elizabeth I's contemporaries were in no doubt about her linguistic capabilities: from her childhood onward, family members, courtiers, tutors, ambassadors and visitors to England from abroad queued up to praise her facility in speaking and writing an impressive range of foreign tongues. The distinguished humanist scholar Roger Ascham claimed that Elizabeth was the brightest of his pupils, mastering Latin, Greek, Italian, and Frnch at an early age. The earliest letter of Elizabeth's to have survived, significantly, is not in English but in Italian: an address to Queen Katherine Parr showcasing in a single text, the 11-year-old princess's courtly politesse, affection for her stepmother, mastery of Italian, and elegant italic hand. One of her earliest literary works, a New Year's gift to her father Henry VIII for 1546, was a virtuosic translation of Katherine's Prayers and Meditations into Latin, French and Italian.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2014 Carlo M. Bajeta, Guillaume Coatalen, and Jonathan Gibson
ISBN: 1-137-44841-5, 978-1-137-44841-5
Keywords: Elizabeth I; letters; manuscript studies; early modern history; correspondence; polyglot
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: 58516
Depositing User: Jonathan Gibson
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:54
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