Erotic Subjects in English History
Chapter One describe the historical and theoretical frameworks of this book. This chapter begins by situating debates over obedience and resistance within a history of English theories of mixed rule, which supposed that the submission of sovereign and subject to one another was the basis of good government. It then tells the story of how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers, drawing on the discourses of hagiography and courtship, came to understand pain and sacrifice as central components of both erotic pleasure and moral power. It concludes by proposing that, given the early modern period’s habitual correlation of political and sexual affect and behavior, recent theoretical studies of gender and sexuality can give us new insights into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century political history.
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