Reading, Society and Politics in Early Modern England

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This study ranges over private and public reading in a variety of religious, social, and scientific communities. It locates and charts specific historical moments of change in reading habits that reflect broader social and political shifts. Reputable contributors cover topics that include the processes of book production and distribution, audiences and markets, the material text, the relationship of print to performance, and the politics of acts of reception.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Many challenging claims for reading as an agent of change are made in this valuable collection." H-ALBION

"A new volume of essays edited by those virtuosi of the form Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker is bound to be a treat and indeed this collection does not disappoint." H-Net

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521824347
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2003
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Sharpe is fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the English Association. He has authored and edited 11 books, including Remapping Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2000) and Criticism and Compliment (1999).

Steven Zwicker is Elkin Professor of Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. He has written widely on seventeenth-century literature and politics, and together with Kevin Sharpe has edited Refiguring Revolutions: Aesthetics and Politics from the English Revolution to the Romantic Revolution (1998) and Politics of Discourse: The Literature and History of Seventeenth-Century England (1987). His own monographs include Politics and Language in Dryden's Poetry: The Arts of Disguise (1984) and Lines of Authority: Politics and English Literary Culture, 1649-1689 (1993).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction: discovering the Renaissance reader Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker; Part I. The Material Text: 1. Errata: print, politics, and poetry in early modern England Seth Lerer; 2. Abandoning the capital in eighteenth-century London Richard Wendorf; Part II. Reading as Politics: 3. 'Boasting of silence': women readers and the patriarchal state Heidi Brayman Hackel; 4. Reading revelations: prophecy, hermeneutics and politics in early modern Britain Kevin Sharpe; Part III. Print, Politics and Performance: 5. Performances and playbooks: the closing of the theatres and the politics of drama David Scott Kastan; 6. Irrational, impractical and unprofitable: reading the news in seventeenth-century Britain Joad Raymond; Part IV. Reading Physiologies: 7. Reading bodies Michael Shoenfeldt; 8. Reading and experiment in the early Royal Society Adrian Johns; Part V. Reading Texts in Time: 9. Martial, Jonson and the assertion of plagiarism Joseph Loewenstein; 10. The constitution of opinion and the pacification of reading Steven N. Zwicker; 11. Cato's retreat: fabula, historia and the question of constitutionalism in Mr Locke's anonymous Essay on Government Kirsie M. McClure; Index.
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