To claim that the famous frontispiece to Hobbes's Leviathan exhibits an unexpectedly 'medieval syntax' in comparison with contemporary French images, for example, ignores its context in republican London, where print shops were full of allegorical and emblematic title-pages, including that of the Eikon Basilike
, published two years earlier and offering an entirely different depiction of sovereignty.
One of those was Eikon Basilike
, King Charles I's posthumous book of reflections and religious meditations.
24) Along with the Bible, the Eikon Basilike
became the most popular book published in seventeenth-century England.
The image of Charles I that is displayed in the Eikon Basilike
begins Chapter 2.
A chapter each on Titus Andronicus, Richard II, and Edward II constitutes the book's first part, "Haunting Allegories," while the second part, "Exhuming Effigies" comprises a chapter on revenge tragedy and one on Eikon Basilike
, Milton's Eikonoklastes, and Marvell's "An Horatian Ode.
In addition, throughout 1648 John Gauden was working to massage Charles's personal writings into the most famous Royalist tract of the entire Civil War period, Eikon Basilike
Yet Anderson argues that Eikon Basilike
in fact invoked the king's presence in order to make it exceed theatrical representation, as if the image of the king amounted to his return.
His reading of compassion as a persuasive tool and site of debate in Monmouth's translation of Senault's The Use of Passions, the Royalist best seller Eikon Basilike
, and Milton's Eikonoklastes serves as a corrective to Habermas's exclusionary emphasis on rationalism in the early modern development of a public sphere.
Knoppers begins with the death's head in anamorphic art (most famously, Holbein's Ambassadors), and then embarks upon her real subject, the use of the language of optics in Charles I's Eikon Basilike
and Milton's Eikonoklastes.
McCoy highlights how Milton extended the logic of this sentiment in his response to the popular Eikon Basilike
(1649), or the king's book, which made the executed Charles I a martyr after his death.
He skillfully contrasts the views of Puritans like John Milton with the ideas of those who promulgated the martyrdom of Charles in such works as Eikon Basilike
and The Princely Pelican.
There are papers on the Court's presentation of the King, on how poets saw Charles' marriage to the French Catholic princess, Henriette Marie, on popular representations of the King, on how images of Charles changed during the so-called 'personal tyranny', on radicals' perceptions, on the King's famous book, Eikon Basilike
, on Milton's relationship with his King, on the King's music, on visual representations of the King, on the martyred King's role in the restoration and on Charles as the Jacobite icon after 1688.