This article outlines some of the ways in which early and modern readers have conceptualised and regarded Eikon Basilike. It acknowledges the complexity and contingency of the aesthetic experiences the book offers its readers, as well as its highly mediated status as a textual phenomenon in print culture. It examine the meanings and symbolisms that have been attached to the king’s book, and I think about these interpretations in relation to the protocols of contemporary book history and interrelated field of print culture studies, which has stressed the social processes of a text’s transmission. Ultimately, I am interested in how the Eikon moved: both in terms of the affective responses it elicited from its readers, and also how it was transmitted between manuscript and print, between persons and places. In doing so, this essay will bring to the fore important paradigms about the manipulability of print, and the participatory nature of early modern authorship and textual production.