Literature and Culture in Early Modern London

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In the two hundred years from 1475 London was transformed from a medieval commune into a metropolis of half a million people, a capital city, and a major European trading centre. New possibilities emerged for cultural exchange and combination, social and political order, and literary expression. Integrating literary and historical analysis, and drawing on recent work in literary theory and cultural studies, Literature and culture in early modern London provides a comprehensive account of the changing image and influence of London in lyrics, ballads, jests, epics, satires, plays, pageants, chronicles, treatises, sermons, and official documents. Lawrence Manley shows how the literature and culture of London contributed to the new structures of capitalism, to the process of "behavioral urbanization," and to a paradoxical liberation of the individual through the city's concentrated power.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Manley's book is hugely ambitious and correspondingly huge in size. It is thoughtful and often provocative...its readings are brilliantly instructive." American Historical Review

"...his [Manley's] book, documented with superbly chosen literary examples, should become important for advanced students of literary history." Choice

"Manley canvasses and analyzes an astonishing array of literary sources ...there is no doubt that students of social and cultural history, as well as literary history, will find this a work of many-faceted values." Albion

'Lawrence Manley's thoroughly researched and well-written book concerns the growth in size and importance of London during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries....Literature and Culture in Early Modern England is an informative and painstakingly researched book....the author does an excellent job of demonstrating how London, a city that grew from 35,000 people in 1501 to 500,000 in 1670, created a change and proliferation of English literature in the early modern period. Lawrence Manley's book will prove useful to scholars of literature and history." Sixteenth Century Journal

"The conscientious density of his scholarship makes it a choice between reading his book or half-a-dozen superficial ones." Studies in English Literature

"...overall a scholarly achievement wholly admirable in its scope, detail, clarity, and thoughtfulness." Anne Lancashire, Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521021975
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 620
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
A note on conventions
Introduction 1
Pt. I The invention of London 21
1 The city and humanism 23
2 London and the languages of Tudor complaint 63
Pt. II Fictions of settlement 123
3 From matron to monster: London and the languages of description 125
4 The emergence of a Tudor capital: Spenser's epic vision 168
5 Scripts for the pageant: the ceremonies of London 212
Pt. III Techniques of settlement 295
6 "To be a man in print": pamphlet morals and urban culture 297
7 Essential difference: the projects of satire 372
8 The uses of enchantment: Jacobean city comedy and romance 431
Pt. IV The dissemination of urban culture 479
9 Metropolis: the creation of an august style 481
10 In place of place: London and liberty in the Puritan Revolution 531
Index 583
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