First Advisor

Caroline Litzenberger

Date of Publication

Summer 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Queen Anne (consort of James I, King of England) (1574-1619) – Biography, English masques -- History and criticism, Queens -- Political activity -- England – Biography, Great Britain -- History -- Tudors (1485-1603)



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 151 p.)


Anna of Denmark (12 December 1574 - 2 March 1619), the wife of King James VI/I of Scotland, England, and Ireland, was an intelligent and interesting woman who has, up until recently, been largely ignored by history. It has only been within the past two decades that any in-depth analysis of Anna has been done, and most of that analysis has focused on Anna's work with the Stuart court masque. The intent of this thesis has been to expand upon current scholarship regarding Anna, as well as to synthesize the various facets of Anna's life in order to put together a more comprehensive understanding of who Anna was and the various ways in which she expressed personal agency and autonomy as a queen consort as opposed to a queen regnant, and how she used the roles of royal wife and mother to further her own goals and interests. The work is divided into an introduction, three chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction offers a brief analysis of the primary and secondary sources, and details how these sources were used within the broader scope of the paper. This introductory section also examines Anna's early life in Denmark, her wedding, and her initial journey to Scotland. The second chapter focuses on Anna's relationships with her husband and children, and particularly how Anna established a niche for herself within first the Scottish, and later the English courts. By studying these relationships it is possible to study the ways in which Anna, as a queen consort, was able to create a court presence for herself. Chapter three analyzes Anna's relationships with other courtiers and, more specifically, what these relationships tell modern scholars about how Anna was able to exercise political influence and power both directly and indirectly. Anna's interactions with her courtiers illustrate how well she understood not only human nature, but the nature of court culture and politics. The fourth chapter presents an in-depth study of Anna's masquing career, and looks at how Anna used the court masque to not only establish a female presence on the stage, but also to fashion a public image for herself. Anna used the Stuart court masque in a way that no one had previously: she used it to express her social and political opinions, and through the court masque Anna was able to portray both who she was and how she wanted to be perceived. The final chapter covers Anna's final days and her lasting impact on English history. Anna of Denmark deserves to be brought out of the shadows of history, and this thesis has attempted to do just that. She was a bright, engaging young woman who, unfortunately, has largely been overshadowed by her husband and children. By studying Anna's various roles as wife, mother, friend, benefactor, and patron, it has been possible to bring forth a much more complete understanding of who this queen consort was and why she is important to a broader understanding of early modern English history.


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