A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture / Edition 1

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This is a one volume, up-to-date collection of more than fifty wide-ranging essays which will inspire and guide students of the Renaissance and provide course leaders with a substantial and helpful frame of reference.

  • Provides new perspectives on established texts.
  • Orientates the new student, while providing advanced students with current and new directions.
  • Pioneered by leading scholars.
  • Occupies a unique niche in Renaissance studies.
  • Illustrated with 12 single-page black and white prints.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The inclusivity and scholarship of this Companion builds on the excellence of the earlier edition. Any university library supporting undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Renaissance literature should consider adding this to their collection." (Reference Reviews, 2011)

"The volume's awesome range makes it a valuable preserve for scholars and an ambitious reference for students." Times Higher Education Supplement

"This impressive tome must certainly be the last word on English Renaissance literature and culture, at least for some considerable time to come." Reference Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Hattaway is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. His many publications include Elizabethan Popular Theatre (1982) and he has edited plays by Shakespeare, Beaumont and Jonson. He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays (2002), and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama (1990) and Shakespeare in the New Europe (1994).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations x

Notes on Contributors xii

PART ONE Introduction

1 Introduction 3
Michael Hattaway

PART TWO Contexts and Perspectives, c.1500–1650

2 Early Tudor Humanism 13
Mary Thomas Crane

3 English Reformations 27
Patrick Collinson

4 Platonism, Stoicism, Scepticism and Classical Imitation 44
Sarah Hutton

5 History 58
Patrick Collinson

6 The English Language of the Early Modern Period 71
N. F. Blake

7 Publication: Print and Manuscript 81
Michelle O’Callaghan

8 Literacy and Education 95
Jean R. Brink

9 Court and Coterie Culture 106
Curtis Perry

10 The Literature of the Metropolis 119
John A. Twyning

11 Playhouses and the Role of Drama 133
Michael Hattaway

12 The Writing of Travel 148
Peter Womack


13 Translations of the Bible 165
Gerald Hammond

14 A Reading of Wyatt’s ‘Who so list to hunt’ 176
Rachel Falconer

15 Courtship and Counsel: John Lyly’s Campaspe 187
Greg Walker

16 Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Book V: Poetry, Politics and Justice 195
Judith H. Anderson

17 Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy 206
A. J. Piesse

18 Donne’s ‘Nineteenth Elegy’ 215
Germaine Greer

19 Lanyer’s ‘The Description of Cookham’ and Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’ 224
Nicole Pohl

20 Bacon’s ‘Of Simulation and Dissimulation’ 233
Martin Dzelzainis

21 Lancelot Andrewes’s Good Friday 1604 Sermon 241
Richard Harries

22 Herbert’s ‘The Elixir’ 249
Judith Weil

23 The Heart of the Labyrinth: Mary Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus 257
Robyn Bolam

24 The Critical Elegy 267
John Lyon

25 Ford, Mary Wroth, and the Final Scene of ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore 276
Robyn Bolam

PART FOUR Genres and Modes

26 Theories of Literary Kinds 287
John Roe

27 Allegory 298
Clara Mucci

28 Pastoral 307
Michelle O’Callaghan

29 Romance 317
Helen Moore

30 Epic 327
Rachel Falconer

31 The Position of Poetry: Making and Defending Renaissance Poetics 340
Arthur F. Kinney

32 The English Print, c.1550–c.1650 352
Malcolm Jones

33 Traditions of Complaint and Satire 367
John N. King

34 Love Poetry 378
Diana E. Henderson

35 Erotic Poems 392
Boika Sokolova

36 Religious Verse 404
Elizabeth Clarke

37 Poets, Friends and Patrons: Donne and his Circle; Ben and his Tribe 419
Robin Robbins

38 ‘Such pretty things would soon be gone’: The Neglected Genres of Popular Verse, 1480–1650 442
Malcolm Jones

39 Local and ‘Customary’ Drama 464
Thomas Pettitt

40 Continuities between ‘Medieval’ and ‘Early Modern’ Drama 477
Michael O’Connell

41 Political Plays 486
Stephen Longstaffe

42 Women and Drama 499
Alison Findlay

43 Tales of the City: The Comedies of Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton 513
Peter J. Smith

44 ‘Tied / To Rules of Flattery?’: Court Drama and the Masque 525
James Knowles

45 Jacobean Tragedy 545
Rowland Wymer

46 Caroline Theatre 556
Roy Booth

47 Scientific Writing 565
David Colclough

48 Prose Fiction 576
Andrew Hadfield

49 Theological Writings and Religious Polemic 589
Donna B. Hamilton

50 The English Renaissance Essay: Churchyard, Cornwallis, Florio’s Montaigne and Bacon 600
John Lee

51 Diaries 609
Elizabeth Clarke

52 Letters 615
Jonathan Gibson

PART FIVE Issues and Debates

53 Rhetoric 623
Marion Trousdale

54 Identity 634
A. J. Piesse

55 Was There a Renaissance Feminism? 644
Jean E. Howard

56 The Debate on Witchcraft 653
James Sharpe

57 Reconstructing the Past: History, Historicism, Histories 662
James R. Siemon

58 Sexuality: A Renaissance Category? 674
James Knowles

59 Race: A Renaissance Category? 690
Margo Hendricks

60 Writing the Nation 699
Nicola Royan

Index 709

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