The Country and the City Revisited: England and the Politics of Culture, 1550-1850

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Between 1550 and 1850, the great age of mercantilism, the English people remade themselves from a disparate group of individuals and localities divided by feudal loyalties, dialects and even languages, into an imperial power. Examining literature, art, and social life, and returning to ground first explored by Raymond Williams in his seminal work, The Country and the City Revisited traces this transformation. It shows that what Williams figured as an urban-rural dichotomy can now be more satisfactorily grasped as a permeable boundary. While the movement of sugar, tobacco, and tea became ever more deeply interfused with the movement of people, through migration and the slave trade, these commodities initiated new conceptions of space, time, and identity. Spanning the traditional periods of the Renaissance and Romanticism, this collection of essays offers interdisciplinary perspectives on central issues of early modern English history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In identifying the culture of setting as a shared window onto awareness and experience in former times, all the contributors point to a very promising framework in which a refreshingly interdisciplinary enterprise of British studies could evolve." Carl B. Estabrook, Albion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521592017
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/1999
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Abbreviations and notes on the text
1 Introduction: the country and the city revisited, c. 1550-1850 1
2 Imagining the metropolis in Elizabethan and Stuart London 24
3 The peripatetic muse: internal travel and the cultural production of space in pre-revolutionary England 41
4 The Cookes and the Brookes: uses of portraiture in town and country before the Civil War 58
5 Digger writing and rural dissent in the English Revolution: representing England as a common treasury 74
6 "Gulfes, Deserts, Precipices, Stone": Marvell's "Upon Appleton House" and the contradictions of "nature" 89
7 Enthusiasm and Enlightenment: of food, filth, and slavery 106
8 "What is the country?": patriotism and the language of popularity during the English militia reform of 1757 119
9 Who's making the scene? Real people in eighteenth-century topographical prints 134
10 Imperial georgic, 1660-1789 160
11 The gentleman planter and the metropole: Long's History of Jamaica 1774 180
12 Crown forests and female georgic: Frances Burney and the reconstruction of Britishness 197
13 "Wild outcasts of society": the transit of the Gypsies in Romantic period poetry 213
14 Afterword: moving stories, still lives 231
Index 251
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