Elizabethan Women and the Poetry of Courtship

Overview

This book offers an original study of lyric form and social custom in the Elizabethan age. Ilona Bell explores the tendency of Elizabethan love poems not only to represent an amorous thought, but to conduct the courtship itself. Where recent studies have focused on courtiership, patronage and preferment at court, her focus is on love poetry, amorous courtship, and relations between Elizabethan men and women. The book examines the ways in which the tropes and rhetoric of love poetry were used to court Elizabethan ...
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Overview

This book offers an original study of lyric form and social custom in the Elizabethan age. Ilona Bell explores the tendency of Elizabethan love poems not only to represent an amorous thought, but to conduct the courtship itself. Where recent studies have focused on courtiership, patronage and preferment at court, her focus is on love poetry, amorous courtship, and relations between Elizabethan men and women. The book examines the ways in which the tropes and rhetoric of love poetry were used to court Elizabethan women (not only at court and in the great houses, but in society at large) and how the women responded to being wooed, in prose, poetry and speech. Bringing together canonical male poets and recently discovered women writers, Ilona Bell investigates a range of texts addressed to, written by, read, heard or transformed by Elizabethan women, and charts the beginnings of an early modern female lyric tradition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Indispensible for upper-division undergraduate libraries as well as for research collections." Choice

"Bell's...argument that amatory poetry is dialogue rather than monologue, that it is at least the representation of and often the product of actual relationship, provides an excellent basis for a renewed exploration of its subject." Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"This book performs an important service by returning late twentieth century scholars to a more fundamental way of reading courtly poetry." Albion

"With a book so thoroughly researched, so brilliantly written-especially with her clever and probing analyses of individual poems-the reader is tempted to say that Bell has every reason to suppose that what she calls Renaissance 'pseudo-Petrarchan' poems...I think that the real importance of her book for Spenserians-its clarity of purpose, its richness of story, its exuberant style-is that it uses the early modern resistant female reader and writer to return us to the poems themselves." The Spenser Review

"It offers a useful way to locate women's voices in places they sometimes appear to be." Renaissance Quarterly

"I applaud Bell's attempt to hear women's voices amid the conversation of men." Modern Philology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521158725
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/9/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
1 An introduction to Elizabethan courtship 1
2 An Elizabethan poetics of courtship 15
3 The practice of Elizabethan courtship 33
4 The lyric dialogue of Elizabethan courtship 53
5 Anne Vavasour and Henry Lee 75
6 A female lyric tradition 100
7 Daniel's lyric dialogue of courtship 126
8 Spenser's Amoretti 152
9 Epilogue 185
Notes 190
Works cited 230
Index 258
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