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`Image Wars is a massive piece of research, surveying a very impressive array of texts and visual representations on a scale that no previous study approaches. Sharpe's book will challenge historians, art historians and literary scholars to broaden their views on the genres through which monarchs represented themselves to their people.'---R. Malcolm Smuts, author of Culture and Power in England, 1585-1685
Spin doctors, photo opportunities and `managing the news' may appear to have emerged only recently onto today's political scene, but in fact image and its manipulation have always been vital to the authority of rulers. This book, the second in Kevin Sharpe's trilogy exploring image, power and communication in early modern England, examines their importance during the turbulent seventeenth century.
From the crowning of James I to the end of Cromwell's Protectorate, Sharpe considers how kings and, increasingly, monarchy's opponents sought to manage their public image in order to enhance their authority and win support. Royalists and parliamentarians - often using the same vocabularies - engaged in a battle to win legitimacy from the people, played out in words, pictures and performances that might validate rule. Embracing a wide range of sources, including proclamations, coins, buildings and art, Sharpe demonstrates how crucial the appreciation, appropriation and innovation of image was to the outcome of this period.