against the threats perceived to
be posed by the potential results of the Englishman’s acts of
visual construction. The ‘security’ of the bareness of
Boorde’s Englishman, then, is bolstered by the shears that he
wields, and by the incomplete, unconstructed state of his appearance.
This suggestion is strongly supported by the fact that in the dialogue
which accompanies the woodcut, ‘the Auctor’ implores
his “gratulatory poem.” Cyndia Clegg analyzes James’s “Achilles’ heel—
his sensitivity about his mother, Scotland, and his own security,” noting
that these issues motivated “most of the acts of personal censorship he
performed as King of England” (Press Censorship Jacobean, 94); true,
Drayton received no official condemnation for his poem, but James did
not appreciate or reward it, and Drayton’s treatment of James’s mother
may explain why.
Just as Spenser could easily have chosen to make his treatment of
Mary, Queen of Scots, less inflammatory by not naming her