Islam and Early Modern English Literature: The Politics of Romance from Spenser to Milton

Islam and Early Modern English Literature: The Politics of Romance from Spenser to Milton

by Benedict S. Robinson
     
 

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Romance was the preeminent narrative form through which medieval Christendom imagined its encounter with the world. But in the early modern period, religious war and commercial and colonial expansion radically changed the terms of that encounter. This book traces the process through which Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and others adapted, revised, or resisted

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Overview

Romance was the preeminent narrative form through which medieval Christendom imagined its encounter with the world. But in the early modern period, religious war and commercial and colonial expansion radically changed the terms of that encounter. This book traces the process through which Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and others adapted, revised, or resisted romance, mapping a world of increasingly uncertain allegiances and affiliations. Early modern romance re-imagined the world, and in the process decisively rearticulated the relations between "Christendom," "Islam," and "Europe." By attending to genre, Robinson explores both the conflicts that formed early modern identities and the power of literary form to shape the world defined by those conflicts - a power with effects that reach to our present moment.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a masterful study, as historically learned and theoretically sophisticated as it is beautifully written."--Jonathan Gil Harris, Professor of English, The George Washington University
 
“With its sharply original reinvestigation of the uses of romance in sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, Robinson's book is an important addition to the growing body of work on early modern representations of the Islamic world. Offering fresh perspectives on a number of key texts, from The Faerie Queen to Othello, The Tempest, and Paradise Lost, whilst ranging adventurously through a variety of less familiar material from writers as diverse as Munday, Greville, and Massinger, it should become required reading for anyone interested in the invention of the 'Orient.’”--Michael Neill, Professor of English, University of Auckland
 
“An incisive and beautifully written account of the intersections between literary form and history in the early modern period. Arguing that romance constantly reimagines and is itself reshaped by cross-cultural encounters, Robinson shows how it inhabits a space that is at once transnational and at the heart of national identity. This book provides an original and compelling postcolonial perspective on early modern literature and culture.”
--Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
 
"The trope of Islam enjoyed wide currency in English literature, and modern literary analysis steadily peels away layer upon layer of its heuristic potential.  Robinson's subtly argued study of early modern English romance is the most recent and quite engaging contribution to that growing field."--Sixteenth Century Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403977939
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
07/24/2007
Series:
Early Modern Cultural Studies Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.62(d)

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