A History of Seventeenth-Century English Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

A History of Seventeenth-century Literature outlines significant developments in the English literary tradition between the years 1603 and 1690. After a thorough consideration of the conditions for literary production and consumption in the early seventeenth century, this volume continues with the major dynastic disruption of the end of the house of Tudor and the inception of the Stuart era, bringing with it major shifts in patterns of patronage and significant readjustments in dominant religious and political ideologies. Central chapters deal with the glittering court culture of Charles I (and reactions to it), with the cultural impact of the Civil War, and with the complex challenges the Restoration posed to writers across the political spectrum. It ends with the completion of the Williamite revolution, which reorders cultural relations within the ruling elite, marks a new phase for dissenting writers, alters the nature of press control, and coincides with the transformation of the reading public. A History of Seventeenth-century Literature outlines significant developments in the English literary tradition between the years 1603 and 1690. After a thorough consideration of the conditions for literary production and consumption in the early seventeenth century, this volume continues with the major dynastic disruption of the end of the house of Tudor and the inception of the Stuart era, bringing with it major shifts in patterns of patronage and significant readjustments in dominant religious and political ideologies. Central chapters deal with the glittering court culture of Charles I (and reactions to it), with the cultural impact of the Civil War, and with the complex challenges the Restoration posed to writers across the political spectrum. It ends with the completion of the Williamite revolution, which reorders cultural relations within the ruling elite, marks a new phase for dissenting writers, alters the nature of press control

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This “handbook” is, perhaps, more“textbook” than “reference book”, but it iswell done and would be a useful resource for undergraduatelibraries.”  (Reference Reviews , 2011)

Tom Corns’s book is the first of its kind to attempt torelate literature to the history of its time not merely in broadabstract terms but in specific detail. He discusses individualworks in such a way that they reoccupy their rightful place amongthe social and political events of their time. And so they comefreshly alive. This is not the only story that could be told aboutliterature, but it is one not to be ignored.

Alastair Fowler, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and EnglishLiterature, University of Edinburgh

Thomas Corns has written an exceptionally fine and remarkablyambitious history of seventeenth-century English literary culture.One of its great virtues is that this history begins with the lateElizabethan period and extends its account to the very end of theseventeenth century, thereby crossing and reexamining traditionalboundaries of literary historical periodisation. Corns deftlyilluminates the distinctive aesthetic achievements ofseventeenth-century English writers, while precisely situatingtheir works in their social, political, and religious contexts, aswell as in relation to the other arts. Students and scholars alikewill find this new, wide-ranging literary history of the periodinvaluable. It is an outstanding achievement. David Loewenstein,University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631221692
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/11/2006
  • Series: Blackwell History of Literature Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas N. Corns is Professor of English at theUniversity of Wales, Bangor. His publications include ACompanion to Milton (ed., Blackwell Publishing, 2001) and,with Gordon Campbell, John Milton: Life, Work, andThought (2008). With Ann Hughes and David Loewenstein, heedited The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley (2009), andhe recently edited The MiltonEncyclopedia (2012). He is an Honoured Scholar of theMilton Society of America.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Preface x

1 The Last Years of Elizabeth I: Before March 1603 1

Literary Consumption and Production 2

Latin, Neo-Latin and English 14

Manuscript, Performance, Print 16

The Press and its Controls 22

The Final Years of Elizabethan Theatre 26

Patronage and Court Culture 30

2 From the Accession of James I to the Defenestration of Prague: March 1603 to May 1618 33

Changes and Continuities 33

The Making of the Royal Courts 35

Masques and Other Court Entertainments 38

Early Jacobean Theatre 42

Jacobean Shakespeare 45

Other Drama 70

Non-Dramatic Poetry 87

Non-Fictional Prose 113

3 From the Defenestration of Prague to the Personal Rule: May 1618 to March 1629 119

Continental Wars 119

Three Funerals and a Wedding 123

Masques and Pageants 129

Plays and Players 133

Poetry and Prose Romance 151

Non-Fictional Prose 156

News 164

4 The Literature of the Personal Rule: March 1629 to April 1640 167

The Making of the Caroline Court 167

Masques of the Personal Rule 176

Other Entertainments 182

Music and Literature at the Caroline Court 184

Themes, Occasions and Conversations 186

From Manuscript to Print 190

Plays and Players 192

Literature and Laudianism 203

George Herbert 206

The Emblem Books of Quarles and Wither 215

Early Milton 221

5 From the Short Parliament to the Restoration: April 1640 to May 1660 229

Events and Consequences 229

Royalist Poetry 239

Crashaw and Vaughan 264

Mid-Century Drama 273

Sir Thomas Browne 277

Poetry for Parliament and Protectorate 283

Pamphlet Wars 295

Newspapers 311

6 The Literature of the Rule of Charles II: May 1660 to February 1685 317

Dissent, Popery and Arbitrary Government 317

Theatre of the Rule of Charles II 327

Rochesterism 352

The Poetry of Dryden and Butler 360

Marvell After 1660 370

Bunyan, Pepys and Sprat 381

Milton, St Nicholas and Hutchinson 391

Katherine Philips and Margaret Cavendish 405

7 From the Accession of James II: After February 1685 409

James II and the Williamite Revolution 409

Aphra Behn: The Late Works 413

Dryden and James II 416

After 1690 421

Bibliography 429

Index 453

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