Literature and the English Civil War

Literature and the English Civil War


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Literature and the English Civil War by Thomas Healy

Literature and the English Civil War charts the relationship between literary texts and their historical context during this era of profound change and upheaval for British society and culture. The volume demonstrates that literary texts are not merely passive reflections of the historical events that help to form them. On the contrary, 'history' is fashioned by the way events are named and the language used to describe them. To understand the literature of the English Civil War is to form a vital perspective on this major period of transition. Essays in the volume focus on issues of ideology and genre, often with reference to topical debates about how the events of 1640-1660 can best be characterised. There are pieces on the politics of the masque; lyric and devotional poetry; women's writing and the Civil War; attitudes towards Ireland; colonialism; madness and division; individual writers such as Hobbes, Marvell, and Milton; and other relevant topics. An editorial introduction traces themes and provides a useful overview. This book is a major contribution to our awareness of the conditions of literature during the English Civil War and an important statement in the debate about the relation between literature and history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521128551
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/04/2010
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors; Introduction: 'Warre is all the world about' Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday; Part I. Definitions and Premonitions: 1. The very name of the game: theories of order and disorder Annabel Patterson; 2. A troubled Arcadia Graham Parry; Part II. Engagement or Retreat: 3. Politics and the masque: Salmacida Spolia Martin Butler; 4. Exploring the language of devotion in the English revolution Helen Wilcox; Part III. Truth and the Self: 5. In the wars of truth: violence, true knowledge and power in Milton and Hobbes Francis Barker; 6. 'Some rousing motions': the plurality of Miltonic ideologies Thomas N. Corns; 7. 'Mysteriously divided': Civil War, madness and the divided self Jonathan Sawday; Part IV. Interpreting the Present: 8. Marvell's 'Horatian Ode' and the politics of genre David Norbrook; 9. 'Dark all without it knits': vision and authority in Marvell's Upon Appleton House Thomas Healy; 10. History digested: opera and colonialism in the 1650s Susan J. Wiseman; 11. Cheap and common animals: the English anatomy of Ireland in the seventeenth century Patricia Coughlan; Part V. Aftermath: 12. 'The Colonel's Shadow': Lucy Hutchinson, women's writing, and the Civil War N. H. Keeble; 13. Exporting enthusiasm: John Perrot and the Quaker epic Nigel Smith; Index.

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