Renaissance and Reformations: An Introduction to Early Modern English Literature / Edition 1

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Designed for both students and general readers, this introduction to Renaissance and Reformation literature offers a description of early modern habits of writing and reading, of publication and stage performance. It considers the ways in which early modern writers constructed the past and designed the present, wrote about people and places, recovered and adapted classical genres, and tackled religious and secular controversies.

All these topics are illustrated with a profusion of excerpts from early modern texts, including works by More, Erasmus, Wyatt, Spenser, Philip and Mary Sidney, Marlowe, Kyd, Shakespeare, Campion, Daniel, Donne, Southwell, Dekker, Taylor 'the water-poet', Aemilia Lanyer, Jonson, Chapman, Middleton, Mary Wroth, Ralegh, Greville, Wotton, Herbert and Milton. Throughout, readers are reminded that the consequences of the English reformations were as important as the better known influences of the Renaissance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wonderful, bracing guide to Early Modern literature and culture. I admire Hattaway's deftness and skill at marking out the boundaries and illuminating what would otherwise lurk in the darkness." Stephen Greenblatt

"A cliché-free zone, a most refreshing read for students as well as teachers." Sederi

"Renaissance and Reformations is an extraordinary achievement: Michael Hattaway's compact study of Early Modern literature belies an astonishing command of the conditions of thought and writing that produced it and does so with an unusual citation of all forms and genres, major and minor and newly-discovered texts. As a result, he is able to take us into the imaginative processes of the time to show us the sheer pleasures these works held as no other study has done." Arthur F. Kinney, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Sharp insights and fresh examples fill Michael Hattaway's welcome book. He enlightens new readers and those who thought they knew 'that foreign country, early modern England' - its high, low, middling culture, its performances and rulers and ruled. All become understandable and beguilingly strange in Hattaway's volume. He admirably 'asks "how" questions not "what" questions' and invites readers to think through ideas, texts, techniques, images, historical moments so they all become the reader's own.” A. R. Braunmuller, University of California, Los Angeles

“Put this on your reading-lists.”
Roger Pooley, Keele University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Hattaway is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Elizabethan Popular Theatre (1982) and Hamlet: The Critics Debate (1987), the editor of As You Like It and Henry VI Parts I–III for the New Cambridge Shakespeare, and also of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture (2000), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays (2002), and plays by Jonson and Beaumont.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi
Acknowledgements vii
Introduction: New Worlds of Words 1
1 Speaking and Writing 7
2 Reading, Publication, Performance 38
3 Forms Ancient and Modern 67
4 Defining the Past 103
5 Designing the Present 125
6 Fictive Persons and Places 152
7 Godliness 181
Notes 215
Bibliography 231
Index 239
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