Letter XXIX

Letter XXIX begins, as all others do, by the queen addressing her husband as her “deare heart” (Fairfax 29). This term of endearment could, in a sense, come off as manipulative through the control of emotion and attachment. The stage is set here for the controlling role of the queen over the king.

Immediately after addressing her husband, the queen alludes to Frederick Cornwallis, the existing Archbishop of Canturbury, who assumedly accompanied the queen on her journey  as far as Adbury, England, near Newbury. The queen notes that she has been feeling ill from her traveling and intends to rest before she starts up again to travel to Bristol, about 70 miles away, in order to return some carts. I presume that these carts are for travel to carry luggage and passengers.

The queen then refers to a Lord Dillon, who identifies as Officer James Dillon of the armies of the Irish Confederate Catholic and a member of the Parliament of Ireland. He had worked for King Charles by snuffing out a rebellion against the king in Scotland. He was a royalist who wished to for reconciliation between Charles I and the Irish Catholics and a dominant military leader. Clearly he was accompanying the queen along her journey from which she now writes.

Lord Dillon, the queen mentions, conveyed to her an indirect message from the king that the queen herself should write a letter to the Commissioners of Ireland instructing them to desist from their present orders, whatever those may have been, and to wait until their condition is better for further instruction. This is a highly unlikely responsibility for a queen; it is clear that it has been given her because she has some predisposed control over the situation. The fact that the message was indirect from the king seems fishy, also, since she has been so infamous for taking charge over the king and overlooking any of his commands.

She tells her husband that she does not want to go through with this action without his approval and reiterates her point excessively, trying to come off as the inferior and not possessing any power that she clearly has. She seems to be inadvertently asserting her dominant power but disguising it with a very domestic and inferior disguise. She speaks to him as if she were a proper and obedient wife, yet she is the one on the road and communicating with officers and commissioners, which includes a Lord Muskery which she then mentions she plans to write to. Lord Muskery is a military officer who lead several battles against Irish forces in the Cromwellian conquests. Again, another military man of power and influence that the queen is making direct instructional contact with.

A Catholic queen in a protestant England having dominance over the Protestant king is a recipe for suspicion and controversy. When the queen controls the king, she controls the people. And the people of England are not a fan of a Catholic head of the monarchy. The editor bluntly points out in the annotations that “It is plaine, here, first. that the King’s Counsels are wholly managed by the Queen; though she be of the weaker sexe” (Fairfax 43), emphasizing the mismatched roles of the monarchs and the unorthodox character of the situation.

Similar to the Edward Snowden case, the queen sneaks under social law and controls the situation for a better outcome. Although she faced animosity and undermined the king’s position, she was needed to help the king in his weak position. If the king could have carried out his military duties, the queen would have had no need to step up. So, like Edward Snowden’s controversial yet hugely beneficial contributions to the social world, the queen, too, made her contribution. In response to the Snowden case, David Brooks illustrated a moral code opposite to that of Swartz, Manning and Snowden. He stated: “For society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures”. This can be directly applied to the unorthodox societal role-reversal that occurred between the king and queen. It caused social upheaval and a loss of a sense of security in the way things were supposed to be. Yet although these ongoings were upsetting and changed the course of societal development, in many ways these changes produced a greater good.

 

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3 thoughts on “Letter XXIX

  1. Daria,

    You have done a great job of explaining what is going on within the letter. You have also provided great background on those mentioned. Furthermore, I am given full understanding of both the English controversy and the modern ones. I particularly liked your way of connecting the controversies with the “common good” concept—role-reversal stimulated the controversy but, like you said, was not intrinsically bad. I do, however, need you to quote and cite either the annotations or the preface and relate them to your argument, preferably with link to the text after the post. This is a very minor adjustment that would fully line your post up with the prompt.

    Adam

    To receive a grade of “S,” satisfactory revision must be posted by 11:59 P.M. Thursday October 7.

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