Anna Beer has recently challenged the view that Sir Walter Ralegh’s abortive patronage relationship with Prince Henry is at the heart of the History o f the World. Arguing that the History should be read as a piece of ‘public’ writing rather than as a patronage text distorted by the death of its intended patron, she links its appearance in 1614 to roughly simultaneous publications by three out-of-favour writers associated with Ralegh: the verse translation of Lucan’s Pharsalia by Ralegh’s cousin and close friend Sir Arthur Gorges, a collection of sermons by Dr John Hoskins and John Selden’s Titles o f Honour. 1614 was a crucial year for these writers, Beer suggests, as it marked the point at which they began to use the public medium of print to express their grievances. Michelle O’Callaghan has made a similar argument about an ‘oppositional’ group of ‘Spenserian’ Inns of Court writers (William Browne, George Wither and Christopher Brooke), who moved into print at about the same time.1 Beer and O’Callaghan’s research suggests that 1614 marked an important stage in the development of a potentially subversive, print-based ‘public sphere’ in English culture. In this essay I gloss this thesis by reverting to the Henry-centred view of the History o f the World challenged by Beer. Focusing on Arthur Gorges’s translation of Lucan’s Stoic epic, I argue that both Ralegh’s History and Gorges’s Pharsalia were written in the first instance for Henry and politically radicalised by the Prince’s death in 1612.2 1 also argue that some key features of ‘Henrician’ ideology need to be reassessed.