Solomonic Iconography in Early Stuart England Solomon’s Wisdom, Solomon’s Folly

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“William Tate offers the first full study of the most prominent figure in English Jacobean symbolism, the image of King Solomon. Historians and literary scholars have long recognized the need for such a study, for there can be no question about the widespread and critical significance of the Solomonic figure for English culture in the first quarter, even the first half, of the seventeenth century. Yet until now no study has appeared, for the demands on its author are very high: a strong grasp of the Bible; wide and deep reading in medieval and Renaissance religious and political thought; expertise in iconography; a carefully conceived interdisciplinary method; the acute reading skills of a literary critic; and close attention to the ways in which images are used, both consistently and inconsistently, in the performance of cultural ideals. In his extraordinary book, Professor Tate has accomplished all these things and more. . . . In Tate’s brilliant study, Solomon comes to epitomize for Jacobean England the struggle between aspiration and skepticism, a struggle with manifestations in virtually every corner of that culture. In addition to the cogency of its overall argument, Tate’s study is filled with smaller treasures as well. . . a rich, learned, and delightful model of interdisciplinary study at its very best.” – Reid Barbour

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword
1. Introduction: Solomon’s Wisdom, Solomon’s Folly
2. Building Solomon’s Temple: King James as Defensor Fidei; The Politics of Doctrine – Solomon against Roman Catholicism; ‘A Monster of the Divine Providence’ – Solomon and Gunpowder; The Politics of Discipline – Solomon against Puritanism; Solomon and Conformity
3. Temple and Empire: Enter the Queen of Sheba; Marlowe’s Solomon; Jonson’s Solomon
4. Bacon’s Solomon; Bacon’s Temple; Bacon’s Empire; The New Atlantis; Coda – The Whitehall Ceiling
5. King Charles and Milton’s Solomon; Solomon’s Song at Court; Milton’s ‘Divine Pastoral Drama’; Apocalyptic Pastoral; Sabrina’s Crown and Psyche’s Side; Solomon’s Song and Solomon’s Sin; Milton’s Solomon
Epilogue; Bibliography; Index

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