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The Romance's Heroic Literary Paradigm
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The sacrifices made by the heroic Artaxerxes pale in comparison with those made by Charles for his father, and have necessitated 'more hazardous adventures' and 'wonderful escapes', the latter the first of two references in quick succession to Charles's being spirited away into exile following the royalist defeat at Worcester in September 1651. In this way, royalist political and military disasters and recoveries are aggrandized through exceeding the tribulations of romance literature. This represents not so much a passive reflection on as an aggressive appropriation of the romance genre, in which the vicissitudes of royalists' collective lived experience are held to eclipse those even of romance's heroic literary paradigm. Again, however, there is Links Of London Charms more than one interpretation to be made. Ostensibly, Cotterell is praising Charles's martial abilities, to the point where it seems clear that he is in the ideological camp of Jermyn and others who favor military action to regain the crown.
On closer examination, however, the nature of this praise is more ambivalent. Do 'hazardous adventures' and 'wonderful escapes' really constitute success And are they meant to For many royalists the rout of Charles's Scottish army at Worcester was an unmitigated and, as importantly, unnecessary, disaster, a foolish 'adventure' which was doomed from the outset. It could well be the case that on the most discreet of levels Cotterell is expressing this view, that he is, above all, advertising the failure of direct military action, and that Charles's 'valour' was in fact damagingly unavailing, in a romance context where, as 'writers in the employ of the Caroline court had argued, Charles's pacifist inclinations dictated a political romance of Links London love rather than valor, peace able or passivity rather than military action'. The fact that he was a close friend of Hyde would only seem to add weight to this argument. Cotterell may also, of course, have been deliberately steering a middle path between the two extremes. Whatever his actual stance, we witness once more how, in the genre of romance, the cost divisions between simplistic royalist binaries routinely break down.
Having established a clear parallel in his epistle between Artaxerxes and Charles, Cotterell now cements the notion that royalists can gain succour from what transpires in Cassandra. Once he has done so, but only once he has done so, a more unequivocally partisan defence of Charles's political rights can be communicated, assisted by the trope of divine agency, though absent of the moralising tone adopted by many of the prefaces and dedicatory epistles in romances of this period: Since then You surpass him so many several ways, why should we fear Your success will come short of his Or rather, why should we not thence draw a credible Omen of a more glorious event Your last miraculous preservation giving us well-grounded hopes that You are reserved for the scourge of Traytors and Regicides; for the Governing of those Nations, that by undoubted Right ought to pay You their Obedience; for the redemption and felicity of all Your Loyal, but now enslaved Subjects.
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