When one sees the name Edward II, one also sees his same-sex loves; this correlation between Edward and sexuality has become ingrained into our public recall of history. This text explores the discourses of sexuality that surround Edward II in Renaissance-era works by Marlowe, Drayton, Hubert, Cary, and Niccols, arguing that, as a result of this very public conversation, Edward II emerges as a unique construction of an identity based on same-sex desire - the veritable once (and future) gay king.
1. Sexuality as silence : representing Edward II in medieval English literature 2. Sexuality as identity : a king, a lover, and a crisis of identity in Christopher Marlowe's Edward II 3. Sexuality as history : understanding Michael Drayton's obsession 4. Sexuality as (flawed) nature : "Let Edward be the subject of thy pen:" Augustinian character and contradiction in Sir Francis Hubert's The historie of Edward the Second 5. Sexuality as disease : identification and the role of "defense" in Elizabeth Cary's The history of the life, reign, and death of Edward II 6. Sexuality as (political, moral, cultural) exemplum? : the strange case of Edward II in Richard Niccols's Mirror for magistrates.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Horace Howard Furness Memorial Fund.