As the notion of government by consent took hold in early modern England, many authors used childhood and maturity to address contentious questions of political representation - about who has a voice and who can speak on his or her own behalf. For John Milton, Ben Jonson, William Prynne, Thomas Hobbes, and others, the period between infancy and adulthood became a site of intense scrutiny, especially as they examined the role of a literary education in turning children into political actors. Drawing on new archival evidence, Blaine Greteman argues that coming of age in the seventeenth century was a uniquely political act. His study makes a compelling case for understanding childhood as a decisive factor in debates over consent, autonomy, and political voice, and will offer graduate students and scholars a new perspective on the emergence of apolitical children's literature in the eighteenth century.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Blaine Greteman is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa. A Rhodes Scholar and a former contributor to Time magazine, he continues to write for both scholarly and popular publications, including Milton Quarterly, Renaissance Quarterly, ELH, Philological Quarterly, and The Review of English Studies. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction: childish things; Part I. The Growth of Consent and Disciplining of Childhood in Early Modern England: 1. Coming of age on stage: Jonson's epicoene and the politics of childhood in early Stuart England; 2. Children, literature, and the problem of consent; 3. Contract's children: Thomas Hobbes and the culture of subjection; Part II. Milton and the Children of Liberty: 4. 'Perplex't paths': youth and authority in Milton's early work; 5. 'Children of reviving libertie': the radical politics of Milton's pedagogy; 6. 'Youthful beauty': infancy and adulthood among the angels of Paradise Lost; 7. Children of paradise; Epilogue: 'children gathering pebbles on the shore'.