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Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland
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London: City of Two Realms



London bore a heavy Irish mark, politically and culturally, in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Richard Duke of York's return from Ireland in 1450, where he served as Governor and enjoyed great support, helped spark the Wars of the Roses. The first Tudor king, Henry VII, (crowned 1485), would in turn face two Yorkist invasions launched from Ireland. Ireland was made a kingdom by Act of Parliament in 1541, and the crown's efforts to control the western realm inspired sixteenth-century mapmakers and historians: Knowledge equals power, and the Tudor capital was awash in new maps, histories, ethnographies, and politcal treatises concerning Ireland and its governance. Literary London, meanwhile, played to polular sentiment and emphasized the exotic character of the Irish in prose, verse, and drama.




Shakespeare. King Henry VI. Part 2. London, 1594
 

Polydore Vergil. Polydori Vergilij Vrbinatis Anglicae historiae libri vigintiseptem. Basel, 1570
 

Great Britain. Office of the revels. Revells ffrom shrovetide. Manuscript, 1554/55
 

Lodovico Ariosto. Orlando furioso. London, 1591


William Camden. Britannia sive Florentissimorum regnorum. London, 1600
 

John Speed. Theatrum imperii Magnæ Britanniæ. London, 1616
 




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