Eikon Basilike

Also found in: Wikipedia.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Similarly, the misplaced comma in the following fragment is coupled with incorrectly designating Charles Is execution rather than Eikon Basilike's publication as "In February, 1649" (49).
The Eikon Basilike: The Pourtraiture of His Sacred Majesty in His Solitudes and Sufferings became an essential part of the king's performance.
These groups move from material form to processes of notetaking ("Presentation, Purchase, Retention," "Binding Fragments," "Referencing Systems," "Three Levels of Annotation," "Interleaving," "Printed Marginalia," "Supplementation"); from ownership ("Dates and Authors," "Sequences of Ownership," "Multiple and Fictional Ownership") to the work of particular authors ("Sidney and Spenser"; "Baxter and Others"; "Fuller's Holy Warre"); from politics to religion, and from the formal to informal ("Political Annotations"; "Milton and the Eikon Basilike"; "Children Making their Own Use of Godly Books"; "From Print to Manuscript: Two Books by Richard Baxter"; "Bunyan's Early Readers").
The image of Charles I that is displayed in the Eikon Basilike begins Chapter 2.
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. (23) On the other end of the political spectrum, John Rushworth, the army's secretary, obviously relayed his employers' views of the events, and Edward Husband, printer to the House of Commons, published what the Parliamentary authorities wished him to print.
Yet texts such as Eikon Basilike, a sentimental portrait of Charles ostensibly written by the king himself before his death, refused to let this trauma disappear.
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.
Sharpe notes the absence of references to the courtesy books, devotional literature, and how-to manuals that we have taken to be so popular (although he says little about the apparent unimportance for Sir William of the Eikon Basilike).