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Chapter 7 contextualizes the relationship between events occurring in 1579–780, such as the publication of John Stubbs’s Gaping Gulf and the Shepheardes Calender. This political discussion serves as the background for close readings of the Aprill and November eclogues. Spenser’s Aprill has been described as an early offering in the cult of Elizabeth, but he undercuts his eulogy to Elizabeth in Aprill by ironic mythological references to Niobe. Rather than making use of the story of Astraea, the just maid, who ushers in a golden age, Spenser turns his back on the symbolism that would identify Elizabeth with Augustus and a golden age. In a close reading of the November eclogue, using Vergil’s Eclogues, Brink shows that this eclogue, like Virgil’s elegy on Julius Caesar, points to the possibility that Elizabeth’s death will lead to civil war. The November eclogue, instead of triumphantly commemorating Elizabeth’s accession to the throne on 17 November, becomes a dirge.

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption

This book analyses how racism and anti-racism influence Black British middle-class cultural consumption. In doing so, this book challenges the dominant understanding of British middle-class identity and culture as being ‘beyond race’.

Paying attention to the relationship between cultural capital and cultural repertoires, this book puts forward the idea that there are three black middle-class identity modes: strategic assimilation, class-minded, and ethnoracial autonomous. People towards each of these identity modes use specific cultural repertoires to organise their cultural consumption. Those towards strategic assimilation draw on repertoires of code-switching and cultural equity, consuming traditional middle-class culture to maintain an equality with the White middle class in levels of cultural capital. Ethnoracial autonomous individuals draw on repertoires of browning and Afro-centrism, removing themselves from traditional middle-class cultural pursuits they decode as ‘Eurocentric’, while showing a preference for cultural forms that uplift Black diasporic histories and cultures. Lastly, those towards the class-minded identity mode draw on repertoires of post-racialism and de-racialisation. Such individuals polarise between ‘Black’ and middle-class cultural forms, display an unequivocal preference for the latter, and lambast other Black people who avoid middle-class culture as being culturally myopic or culturally uncultivated.

This book will appeal to sociology students, researchers, and academics working on race and class, critical race theory, and cultural sociology, among other social science disciplines.

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This chapter offers an account of David Milch’s early work in television, particularly his success as a writer for Hill Street Blues and his creation of NYPD Blue. It offers a detailed analysis of the creation and development of his first major character, Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) in that show.

in David Milch

This chapter considers early modern academic drama performed at St John’s College, Oxford. Dutton begins by describing the college household materials on which such performances drew, adopting a productively broad definition of this category that includes the people working, studying, and teaching at St John’s, as well as their immediate neighbours in town; the college’s domestic furnishings, such as tables, paintings, and candles; the matter covered there in lectures; and the university’s own medieval foundations. Working first from a text now known as The Christmas Prince, a richly informative but often overlooked account of the 1607–1608 Christmas festivities at St John’s, Dutton describes the financing of the St John’s plays as well as the practicalities associated with their staging and rehearsal and with the sourcing of actors. In the productions performed as part of the Christmas Prince celebrations as well as in the earlier and later examples of St John’s college drama that Dutton examines, the college play emerges as a means of reaffirming and celebrating the local, collegiate culture as well as constituting an interface with the outside world across which people and ideas might move both into and out of the college household.

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France
Sir John Clotworthy, John Davies and the politics of supply, 1644–45

Sir John Clotworthy’s attempt to increase the supplies sent from England to the armies in Ulster in the mid-1640s provides a fascinating insight into relations between Ireland and England at this time. Clotworthy’s success in wresting the initiative away from the adventurers, aided by ‘the gentlemen of Ireland’ – a kaleidoscopic array of Irish Protestants from all four provinces engaged in lobbying the parliamentarian authorities – reminds us of the importance of personal connections during this period. In particular, the way in which the Carrickfergus merchant, John Davies, stole a march on his London rivals to monopolise the supply lines shows how war presented opportunities to those who were both enterprising and unscrupulous.

in Ireland in crisis
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This brief conclusion restates the facts of Spenser’s early life, integrating into this factual outline the points made in this biographical study. In addition, this portrait of Spenser depicts his departure for Ireland as a high point in his life. He concluded the Shepheardes Calender with the bold claim that it was a ‘Calender for euery yeare’ and the fervent hope that his pastoral would outwear ‘steele in strength’ and ‘continewe till the worlds dissolution’. The aspiration in these lines testifies to the idealism that inspired the early Spenser and that prompted him to envision a life in Ireland where he might succeed in fashioning the Renaissance epic.

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

Eamon Darcy’s chapter makes a foray into the notoriously difficult topic of early modern popular politics within a confederate context. He considers the importance of communication in the period, especially the role of bilingual ‘brokers’ in spreading propaganda and of the role of oath-taking as a means of securing allegiance. He also looks at print culture and popular politics. The conclusion for the Confederate Association is not at all positive, as its leaders remained wary of the ordinary people, blaming them for lawlessness and violence during the rebellion, and dismissing their beliefs.

in Ireland in crisis

This chapter looks at Black middle-class consumption of ‘Black cultural capital’ – forms of dominant cultural capital mediated in a way that promotes ethnoracial affinity and resistance. I argue that participants often decode certain cultural forms as ‘Black cultural capital’ when they fulfil a politics of representation, both challenging the Whiteness of the art world and controlling images of Blackness more generally. Such participants often construe themselves as having the most symbolic mastery over these cultural forms by virtue of being racialised as Black. However, those towards strategic assimilation attempt to use Black cultural capital to foster inter-racial solidarity, while those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode prefer to keep Black cultural spaces ethnoracially closed.

in Black middle class Britannia
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This is the first full-length study of the career and achievements of David Milch, the US writer who created NYPD Blue, Deadwood and other ground-breaking television dramas. It locates Milch’s work in the traditions of American literature while tracking his career from academic research assistant to leading Hollywood screenwriter of his generation. It draws on behind-the-scenes material in order to evaluate the nature and significance of authorship, intention, collaboration and performance in his shows, and in doing so provides a major contribution to the study of television art.

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Healing, reading, and perfection in the late-medieval household

This chapter considers the reception of John of Arderne’s treatise, the Practica de fistula in ano (1376). Leahy points out that Arderne’s appeal was unlikely to have been restricted to the medical practitioners who are known to have possessed copies of his work: the author-surgeon’s sensitive depiction of the power dynamics of the medieval household and his deployment in his writing of features deriving from the chronicle and romance traditions implicate a broader, less specialised readership. That Arderne’s work met with such an audience is indicated by the inclusion of a Latin text of the Practica alongside two less specialised Middle English texts dealing with the matter of self-care and the apparently miraculous properties of rosemary in an early fifteenth-century compilation, London, British Library MS Additional 29301. This manuscript presents an interesting mix of perspectives on the matter of healthy living, adumbrating the tensions that might exist between members of the household, who favoured their own homegrown cures, and professional medical practitioners. Leahy argues that such a constellation of texts enabled the readers of the Additional manuscript to imagine the household as an idealised realm of bodily control and perfect living.

in Household knowledges in late-medieval England and France