The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590-1612

Overview

The Poetics of English Nationhood is a study of the formation of English national identity during the early modern period. Claire McEachern argues for the role of Reformation religious culture in the shaping of a Tudor-Stuart nation, and examines its presence in the writings of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Drayton. She shows how in their work the concept of nationality is always fluid; it crucially depends on a sense of intimacy that seeps across and above hierarchies and boundaries. McEachern shows how different ...
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Overview

The Poetics of English Nationhood is a study of the formation of English national identity during the early modern period. Claire McEachern argues for the role of Reformation religious culture in the shaping of a Tudor-Stuart nation, and examines its presence in the writings of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Drayton. She shows how in their work the concept of nationality is always fluid; it crucially depends on a sense of intimacy that seeps across and above hierarchies and boundaries. McEachern shows how different kinds of language - literary, exegetical, parliamentary - personify power, thereby sealing the intimacy which binds the nation as an imagined community. The representation of faith, motherland, and crown in Tudor-Stuart texts, she argues, continually personified English political institutions, promoting both social order and collective unity. By focusing on the rhetorical forms of cultural unity in the Reformation era, McEachern traces a profound shift from a monarchically defined Englishness to a system based within the cultural institution of the common law.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"McEachern's Nationhood offers tightly focused analyses and contextual discussions...." Arthur Williamson, 16th Century Jrnl

"...fascinating study of the intersections of history and literature.... The poetics of English nationhood, 1590-1612 is an important book. Its readings, bold and imaginative, are informed by an impressive scholarly breadth and by a layering of historical material daunting in its depth. It is...likely to be read by...the most advanced students of the early modern period...." James C. Bulman, Shakespeare Quarterly

"The poetics of ENglish nationhood, 1590-1612 is an important book. Its readings, bold and imaginative, are informed by an impressive scholarly breadth and by a layering of historical material daunting in its depth." James C. Bulman, Shakespeare Quarterly

"The Poetics of English Nationhood is a valuable contribution to our as yet rather limited understanding of the complexities of early modern national identity and nationalism....this is an important book..." Andrew Hadfield, Modern Philology

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 This England 5
2 Sects and the single woman: Spenser's national romance 34
3 Speaking in common: Henry V and the paradox of the body politic 83
4 Putting the "poly" back into Poly-Olbion: British union and the borders of the English nation 138
Epilogue 192
Notes 198
Index 236
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