Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern Literature

Overview

The art of conversation was widely believed to have been inspired by the republican philosopher Cicero. Recognizing his influence on courtesy literature (the main source for "civil conversation"), Jennifer Richards reveals new ways of thinking about humanism as a project of linguistic and social reform. Richards explores the interest in civil conversation among mid-Tudor humanists, John Cheke, Thomas Smith and Roger Ascham, as well as their self-styled successors, Gabriel Harvey...

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Overview

The art of conversation was widely believed to have been inspired by the republican philosopher Cicero. Recognizing his influence on courtesy literature (the main source for "civil conversation"), Jennifer Richards reveals new ways of thinking about humanism as a project of linguistic and social reform. Richards explores the interest in civil conversation among mid-Tudor humanists, John Cheke, Thomas Smith and Roger Ascham, as well as their self-styled successors, Gabriel Harvey and Edmund Spencer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"well paced and well proportioned: the chapters advance clear arguments in their own rights, but together they also form a persuasive thesis that should help readers reconsider their ideas about sixteenth-century English conduct and courtesy writings...carefully argued and interesting." Sixteenth Century Journal Thomas G. Olsen, State University of New York at New Paltz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521035712
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Richards is Lecturer in English at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is the editor, with James Knowles, of Shakespeare's Late Plays: New Readings (1999) and the author of articles in Renaissance Quarterly and Criticism.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Types of honesty: civil and domestical conversation; 2. From rhetoric to conversation: reading for Cicero in The Book of the Courtier; 3. Honest rivalries: Tudor humanism and linguistic and social reform; 4. Honest speakers: sociable commerce and civil conversation; 5. A commonwealth of letters: Harvey and Spenser in dialogue; 6. A new poet, a new social economy: homosociality and The Shepheardes Calender; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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