Eikon Basilike

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Eikon Basilike

(ī`kŏn bəsĭl`ĭkē) [Gr.,=royal image], subtitled "the Portraiture of His Sacred Majesty in His Solitudes and Sufferings," a work published soon after the execution of Charles I of England in 1649. It purports to be the king's spiritual autobiography. Written in simple, direct, and moving language, it ran into many editions and was translated into several languages. After the Restoration, John Gauden claimed authorship of the book, and this claim is still a subject of scholarly controversy. Because of the favorable image it created of the king, John Milton was assigned by the regicides to reply to it, which he did in his Eikonoklastes (1649). The name is also spelled Icon Basilike and Ikon Basilike.


See edition by P. A. Knachel (1966); bibliography by F. F. Madan (1950).

References in periodicals archive ?
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.
By taking the reputation and memory of Charles to the public through print, Eikon Basilike testifies to the new importance of the press in political matters, at the end of a decade which had seen the popular press play more of a role than it had ever done before.
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.
50) Charles himself, protesting posthumously in Eikon Basilike against those "who intended, by publishing my private letters, nothing else but to render me more odious and contemptible to my people," brilliantly uses the very topos of private revelation to transform political embarrassment and military defeat into martyrdom.
Sharpe returns several times in this collection to the impact of Eikon Basilike, the posthumously published spiritual meditations allegedly written by Charles I.
the idolatrous abdication of self-authorship that he finds at work both in the composition of Eikon Basilike and in the testimony rendered by its astounding popular reception" (149).
Kezar extends Fish's resistant reading to associate Samson's inwardness with the ars moriendi tradition (specifically Thomas Becon's The Sick Man's Slave, 1561), a tradition likewise employed by Charles I'S Eikon Basilike.
It was, as Elizabeth Skerpan Wheeler shows, the king's autobiography, Eikon Basilike (1649), "offered on the streets on the very day of his execution" (122), that established an impression of his character that still endures.
More to the center is a reading of verse of the period when Charles's end was nigh, and of the Eikon Basilike, in which religious figuring was used to snatch some comfort from the despair.