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Author: John Walter

Early modern England was marked by profound changes in economy, society, politics and religion. It is widely believed that the poverty and discontent which these changes often caused resulted in major rebellion and frequent 'riots'. This book argues for the inherently political nature of popular protest through a series of studies of acts of collective protest, up to and including the English Revolution. Authority was always the first historian of popular protest. Explaining the complex relationship between the poor and their governors, the book overviews popular attitudes to the law and the proper exercise of authority in early modern England. A detailed reconstruction of events centring on grain riots in the Essex port of Maldon in the crisis of 1629 is then presented. Urbanisation, regional specialisation and market integration were the larger changes against which disorder was directed between 1585 and 1649. The book discusses the 'four Ps', population growth, price rise, poverty and protest, explaining their connection with population explosion to poverty and protest. The major European revolts of the so-called 'Oxfordshire rising' are then analysed. Popular politics might deploy 'weapons of the weak' in a form of everyday politics that was less dramatic but more continuous than 'riot'. On the very eve of the Civil War, large crowds, with underemployed clothworkers, attacked and plundered the houses of local Catholics and proto-royalists among the nobility and gentry. In a culture that proscribed protest and prescribed obedience, public transcripts could be used to legitimise a popular political agency.

Monika Fludernik

Biblical drama in early modern England seems to have been more prevalent than used to be assumed (see Chapter 8 ), yet there are only a few extant texts, the most prominent of which in the early seventeenth century are Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene's A Looking Glasse for London and George Peele's The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe (respectively discussed in Chapters 10 and 4 in this book). The present contribution therefore takes a more indirect approach to the subject of enacting the Bible in early modern English drama

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Abstract only
Indira Ghose

H AMLET DOES NOT HAVE a high opinion of the type of humour on offer on the early modern stage. He exhorts the players to ‘let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them. For there be of them that will themselves laugh to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary question of the play be then

in Shakespeare and laughter
An anthology of literary texts and contexts

This book is an anthology of selections from works dealing with same-sex love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships during the period 1550-1735 in early modern England. It presents religious and moral writings, pseudo-medical writings, criminal pamphlets, travel writings, and letters on same-sex desire. The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology. The early modern medical, pseudo-medical, and anatomical texts in Latin are surprisingly reticent about the physiological and anatomical aspects of homoerotic sexuality and desire. Canon law had long condemned male same-sex sexual acts. The 1533-34 statute in England forbade male same-sex sexual acts but ignored female same-sex intercourse. English travel narratives dealing with the sexual customs of other cultures often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. The most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio. Familiar letters, such as between James I and VI, could reveal personal secrets and be radically transgressive in their emphasis on fostering love and desire. The book discusses homo-sexual subculture during 1700-1730, translation of Latin and Greek texts, and numerous literature representing male and female same-sex erotic relationships. The largely 'socially diffused homosexuality' of the seventeenth century changed profoundly with 'clothes, gestures, language' connoting 'homosexuality'. The book shows how literary genres of male same-sex and female-sex desires such as Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Catherine Trotter's Agnes de Castro allow the modern reader to chart changes in their representation.

Rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics
Author: Mark Robson

This book draws together three areas from which sense is made: rhetoric, poetics and aesthetics. Coming to terms with rhetoric, poetics and aesthetics is essential for understanding not only early modern writing but also a certain influential narrative of modernity. This notion of modernity is not a purely literary one, and the author's discussion has nothing to say about artistic ideas of modernism. The book demonstrates the necessity of reading, but of a reading that is always local, located, limited - always aware, that is, of its limitations. To claim to have read a few texts is not as small a claim as it might at first appear. In the current historicist climate, reading has, like rhetoric, become somehow unfashionable except as a topic for excavation. The first part of the book elaborates the connections between rhetoric, aesthetics and literature. Frequent recourse is made to rhetorical treatises, but equally frequently there are discussions of material that comes from periods other than the early modern, both earlier and later. The second part of the book focuses on either an aspect of the body related to the sense of reading or on the deliberate disavowal of the body and its senses.

Martha McGill

, and remains recognisable today. Angels in the Christian tradition are embodiments of goodness, just as demons are symbols of evil. However, for most of the early modern period, this goodness came in guises quite unlike these gentle, yielding angelic figures. Early modern angels were noble, but they were not necessarily nice. Laura Sangha provides a thorough survey of ways of thinking about angels in early modern England. In a discussion of the ‘people’s angel’, she suggests that the most common way of understanding angels between 1550 and 1700 was as guardians of

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland

This volume considers transnational and intercultural aspects of early modern theatre, drama and performance. Its twelve chapters, loosely cosmographically grouped into West, North and South, compose a complex image of early modern theatre connections as a socially, economically, politically and culturally realised tissue of links, networks, influences and paths of exchange. With particular attention to itinerant performers, court festival, and the significant black, Muslim and Jewish impact, they combine disciplines and methods to place Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the wider context of early performance culture in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Czech and Italian speaking Europe. Their shared methodological approach examines transnational connections by linking abstract notions of wider theatre historical significance to concrete historical facts: archaeological findings, archival records, visual artefacts, and textual evidence. Crucial to the volume is this systematic yoking of theories with surviving historical evidence for the performative event – whether as material object, text, performative routine, theatregrams, rituals, festivities, genres, archival evidence or visual documentation. This approach enables it to explore the infinite variety of early modern performance culture by expanding the discourse, questioning the received canon, and rethinking the national restrictions of conventional maps to reveal a theatre that truly is without borders.

In the sixteenth century, many different stories on the Revolt in the Low Countries spread throughout Europe, written by very different authors with very different intentions. Over time this plethora of sources and interpretations faded away, leaving us with only a couple of canonical narratives, extremely opposed in essence. In this way, the Dutch and Spanish national myths were forged on the basis of two different visions of the conflict: as a liberation war and act of rebellion against cruel Spanish oppressors or as a glorious part of the history of the Spanish Empire. This book revolves around the concept of episodic narratives, factual texts on the events and its protagonists, which can be seen at first sight as anecdotic, but that happen to be the building blocks of history. This approach renders the book thought-provoking for anybody interested in the history of the Revolt in the Low Countries, but also for those who wish to understand the dynamics of early modern narratives. Since it offers a wide array of sources in different languages it also provides readers with the chance to engage with texts they do not have easy access to. How did the Spanish write about the Revolt, what can we find in Italian chronicles, what were the Jesuits writing in their letters and how does the war look like from the perspective of a local nobleman or a Spanish commander?

This book considers how biblical women were read, appropriated and debated in a wide range of early modern texts. It traverses a range of genres and examines literature written by a variety of confessionally diverse writers. By considering literature intended for assorted audiences, the book showcases the diverse contexts in which the Bible's women were deployed, and illuminates the transferability of biblical appreciation across apparent religious divisions. The book has been split into two sections. Part One considers women and feminine archetypes of the Old Testament, and the chapters gathered in Part Two address the New Testament. This structure reflects the division of Scripture in early modern Bibles and speaks to the contemporary method of reading the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In spite of this division, the chapters regularly make cross references between the two Testaments highlighting how, in line with the conventions of early modern exegesis, they were understood to exist in a reciprocal relationship. Within each section, the chapters are broadly organised according to the sequential appearance of the women/feminine archetypes in the Bible. The biblical women studied extend from Eve in Genesis to the Whore of Babylon in Revelation. The chapters vary between those that examine dominant trends in appropriation to those that consider appropriations of a particular interest group or individual.

Mark Robson

I In the previous chapter I concluded with the notion of a ‘living’ truth, that is, of a truth that came about or could be sensed through the animating interactions with language that were the domain of rhetoric. As such, my discussion was focused upon the visions of rhetoric to be found in early modern texts, as well as in some of the classical

in The sense of early modern writing