Image Government shows how the art of the spin-doctor was widely practised in the second half of the seventeenth century. The author uses the work of authors such as Edmund Waller and painters such as Antonio Verrio to illuminate the changing ideologies of the late Stuart era and the way in which ideas about sovereignty were expressed by artists.
Image Government traces some of the cranks and windings, ebbings and flowings that lead from Charles I's downfall to Queen Anne's coronation as they are registered in printed literature and visual art. The poetry of Marvel and Dryden, multifarious political writings by greater and lesser figures, and the work of significant divines like the Whiggish Burnet, and Hickes, doyen of the nonjurers, are all used to show how the expression of ideas changed in the second half of the seventeenth century. While showing his awareness of the contributions of modern scholarship, the author displays a magisterial grasp of primary sources, often little exploited. The book explores aspects of sovereignty and the underlying principles of political cohesion for the benefit of students and scholars of later seventeenth-century literature, history and art.