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Peter Holland

Trent shall run, In a new channel fair and evenly. ( 1 Henry IV , 3.1.95–100) In the politics of maps we are of course aware of the two crucial examples in Shakespeare, the map of England being divided up and redivided here in Hotspur’s irritation in 1 Henry IV and the map of Britain being divided up

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Caesar under Thatcher
Andrew James Hartley

visceral response. The Britain of the 1960s and 1970s lacked the kinds of dominant political figures to make Caesar feel topical, but the 1980s and 1990s positively brimmed with analogues to the story of a dictator’s demise and its aftermath. The nation in which Ron Daniels’ 1983 production opened at the RST was as divided along lines of class, geography and race as it has ever been in the modern

in Julius Caesar

The subject of Britain reads key early seventeenth-century texts by Bacon, Daniel, Drayton, Hume, Jonson, Shakespeare and Speed within the context of the triple monarchy of King James VI and I, whose desire to create a united Britain unleashed serious debate and reflection concerning nationhood and national sovereignty. This book traces writing on Britain through a variety of discursive forms: succession literature, panegyric, union tracts and treatises, plays, maps and histories. Attending to the emergence of new ideologies and new ways of thinking about collective identities, The subject of Britain seeks to advance knowledge by foregrounding instances of fruitful cultural production in this period. Bacon’s and Hume’s pronouncements on the common ancestry, the cultural proximity of Britain’s inhabitants, for instance, evinces Jacobean imaginings of peoples and nations joining together, however tenuously. By focusing on texts printed in not just London but also Edinburgh as well as manuscript material that circulated across Britain, this book sheds valuable light on literary and extra-literary texts in relation to the wider geopolitical context that informed, indeed enabled, their production. By combining the historical study of literary and non-literary texts with the history of political thought and the history of the book broadly defined, The subject of Britain offers a fresh approach to a signal moment in the history of early modern Britain. Given its interdisciplinary nature, this book will appeal to literary historians and historians of early modern Britain as well as undergraduates and postgraduates.

Hume, Bacon, Britain and Britishness
Christopher Ivic

: otherwayes by deuiding your Kingdomes, yee shall leaue the seede of diuisione and discorde among your posteritie’. 1 On 17 April 1603, Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian secretary in England, wrote to the Doge and Senate stating that James ‘is disposed to abandon the titles of England and Scotland, and to call himself King of Great Britain, and like that famous and ancient King Arthur to embrace under one name the whole circuit of one thousand seven hundred miles, which includes the United Kingdom now possessed by his Majesty, in that one island’. 2 Upon his accession

in The subject of Britain, 1603–25
All’s Well That Ends Well
Lisa Hopkins

In this essay, I want to suggest that we should read the pilgrimage-minded Helena of All’s Well That Ends Well in the light of two holy women, St Helena of Britain and Mary Magdalene. First, however, I want to pause on one of the most prominent of many problematic moments in this strange, difficult play, when Helena sends her mother

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700
Ton Hoenselaars and Helmer Helmers

to the continent. Succeeding Sir John Norris as commander of the British troops in the Netherlands, Robert Dudley crossed the North Sea with his company of players – Lord Leicester’s Men – including Will Kempe. It is they who were responsible for the earliest recorded instance of an English theatre production on Dutch soil, namely at Utrecht. On 23 April 1586, in the presence of Dutch diplomats, but

in Doing Kyd
Abstract only
John Drakakis

thereby anticipating the critical practice of demythologisation that was shortly to become a central tenet of British cultural materialism. Jones’s objective was twofold: to establish a pre-history in the early sixteenth century that might challenge the claimed unhelpfulness of literary historians; and to counter ‘the desire to impose manageable period-divisions [that] has put more stress on superficial discontinuity’ – an emergent radical critical manoeuvre – ‘than continuity at a deeper level’. 78 Following on from T

in Shakespeare’s resources
Abstract only
John Drakakis

. 359ff. See especially pp. 366–7, where the source of human behaviour is not ‘GOD’ but the classical deity ‘Plutus’. 10 Ibid. , p. 368. 11 Ibid. 12 Alexander Barclay, The Ship of Fools , 2 vols (New York, 1966), vol. 1, p. 5. 13 See Greg Walker, ‘The Renaissance in Britain’, in Patrick Collinson, ed., The Sixteenth Century (Oxford, 2002) , p. 176, where the birth of ‘the idea of a lost paradise’ is linked

in Shakespeare’s resources
Abstract only
John Drakakis

Contemporaries and classical authorities are brought together here, but then the latter are dismissed (‘Of all, that insolent Greece or haughtie Rome sent forth’), to be supplanted by an explicitly nationalistic claim that it is the ‘British’ Shakespeare, ‘To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe’. 10 Some five years after the publication of the First Folio, the minor poet Thomas Randolph provided a slightly different genealogy for Ben Jonson in his poem ‘A gratulatory to Mr. Ben Iohnson for his adopting of him to be his

in Shakespeare’s resources
John Drakakis

types of Shakespearean intertextual prompts imbedded [ sic ] in and/or cuing selected works: an unrecognised dramatic source from a contemporary play, images likely remembered from a favourite Latin classic, a quasi-mythic narrative, a prompt involving a familiar British national myth and an item of contemporary political interest. 51 Unfortunately, Levith does not go beyond the process of identification. For example, having identified the ‘influence’ of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus as

in Shakespeare’s resources