Om Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Cul
Cupid became a popular figure in the literary and visual culture of post-Reformation England. He served to articulate and debate the new Protestant theory of desire, inspiring a dark version of love tragedy in which Cupid kills. But he was also implicated in other controversies, as the object of idolatrous, Catholic worship and as an adversary to female rule: Elizabeth I's encounters with Cupid were a crucial feature of her image-construction and changed subtly throughout her reign. Covering a wide variety of material such as paintings, emblems and jewellery, but focusing mainly on poetry and drama, including works by Sidney, Shakespeare, Marlowe and Spenser, Kingsley-Smith illuminates the Protestant struggle to categorise and control desire and the ways in which Cupid disrupted this process. An original perspective on early modern desire, the book will appeal to anyone interested in the literature, drama, gender politics and art history of the English Renaissance.