Worldly King: Henry VIII and Cultural Cosmopolitanism at the Early Tudor Court.
This dissertation looks at material objects to explore and unpack Henrician court culture. It focuses specifically on the place and prominence of luxury international goods and items associated with the age of discovery to explore the monarch’s relationship with the growing early modern world, and the cultural effects of that interaction. It argues that Henry utilized objects such as oriental carpets, venetian glass, ornate globes and world maps, to construct and promote an image of himself as an individual intimately interested in, and engaged with, the early modern globe. Through a mix of anxiety and a desire to compete with his rival early modern monarchs, Henry created a court and persona that showed off his access to the most rare and beautiful foreign commodities of the time, and he began to fashion himself and his court in a way that to a modern eye appears distinctly multicultural and cosmopolitan. Henry’s material expressions of cosmopolitan mores were distinct from the political cosmopolitanism of the ancients which stressed world citizenship based on a common humanity. Instead, they formed part of a royal persona built and based around objects embedded in the global economic networks of early modern Europe. In the Henrician case this cultural form of cosmopolitanism existed alongside, as opposed to against, political theories of the sovereign national state, and remained to do so even whilst his reign moved more towards nationalistic political structures post Reformation. By exposing and exploring the development of Henry’s cosmopolitan self-fashioning this work seeks to add to our historical understanding of cosmopolitanism, and especially its relationship to other early modern identities and forms of belonging, most notably the national – a topic that continues to be discussed, oftentimes in a fraught manner, today. Re-imagining Henry as a cosmopolitan and worldly prince offers an import reassessment of the king’s royal image and allows us to explore the construction of cosmopolitan and national identities during the first wave of globalization.
Dissertation prospectus (September 2016)
Phd Seminar paper (June 2015)
The Field of Cloth (1520) and the commodification of Early Modern kingship.
Ma Seminar paper (June 2014)
Textiles and majesty in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: a global perspective.
Undergraduate dissertation (June 2012):
Mum – By Emma Hinchliffe (A poem I wrote in memory of my mum, Julie Hinchliffe (1958-2014)
Areas of interest:
My four PhD fields are:
1.) The political culture of Early modern Europe
2.) Modern France
3.) Medieval England
4.) Documentary – theory and practice
Tudor England, Edward VI, protestant reformation, visual and material culture, the royal image, the court, renaissance propaganda, early modern globalisms, world history, textiles, trade, The French revolution, the reign of Terror, film and history.
Early Modern Europe
Witchcraft in History
The Medieval word
The Ancient world
C20 US history through film