The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson

Overview

In The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson, Jack Lynch explores eighteenth-century British conceptions of the Renaissance, and the historical, intellectual, and cultural uses to which the past was put. Scholars, editors, historians, religious thinkers, linguists, and literary critics of the period all defined themselves in relation to "the last age" or "the age of Elizabeth." Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers reworked older historical schemes to suit their own needs, turning to the age of Petrarch ...
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Overview

In The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson, Jack Lynch explores eighteenth-century British conceptions of the Renaissance, and the historical, intellectual, and cultural uses to which the past was put. Scholars, editors, historians, religious thinkers, linguists, and literary critics of the period all defined themselves in relation to "the last age" or "the age of Elizabeth." Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers reworked older historical schemes to suit their own needs, turning to the age of Petrarch and Poliziano, Erasmus and Scaliger, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Queen Elizabeth to define their culture in contrast to the preceding age. They derived a powerful sense of modernity from the comparison, which proved essential to the constitution of a national character. This interdisciplinary study will be of interest to cultural as well as literary historians of the eighteenth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lynch has produced a set of excellent essays...[he] gives his own readers a number of compelling stories, solidly researched and richly rewarding to read." Martine Watson Brownley, Emory University, Albion

"Recommended." Choice

"Jack Lynch has undertaken an important task in explaining the eighteenth century's view of its immediate literary predecessors... Lynch lets the different versions of 18th century responses to the Renaissance play against each other in a postmodern way." The East-Central Intelligencer

"[A] worthwhile volume." H-ALBION

"well-designed book...a useful start for anyone interested in either period and English literary history in general. It has thirty-three pages of notes and a twenty-page bibliography that helpfully point readers to further resources, with a mixture of secondary sources, which are readily available, and primary texts, which attest to Lynch's original research." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England Bernice W. Kliman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521143974
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/24/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Lynch is assistant professor of English at Rutgers University. He is co-editor, with Paul J. Korshin, of The Age of Johnson: A Scholarly Annual. He is the author of A Bibliography of Johnsonian Studies, 1986-1998 (2000) and Samuel Johnson's Dictionary: Selections from the 1755 Work that Defined the English Language (2002).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Note on the texts and citation
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Struggling to emerge from barbarity: historiography and the idea of the classic 18
2 Learning's triumph: historicism and the spirit of the age 38
3 Call Britannia's glories back to view: Tudor history and Hanoverian historians 57
4 The rage of Reformation: religious controversy and political stability 78
5 The ground-work of stile: language and national identity 97
6 Studied barbarity: Jonson, Spenser, and the idea of progress 120
7 The last age: Renaissance lost 143
Notes 165
Bibliography 198
Index 219
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