This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what
did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the
Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the
three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual
evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact
which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on
intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy
and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of
the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink,
excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the
soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the
Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in
works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a
frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy.
The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental
and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success
in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not
undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the
roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of
convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions
about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to
affect human bodies and health.
This volume questions and qualifies commonly accepted assumptions about the early
modern English sonnet: that it was a strictly codified form, most often
organised in sequences, which emerged only at the very end of the sixteenth
century and declined as fast as it had bloomed at the turn of the century – and
that minor poets merely participated in the sonnet fashion by replicating
established conventions. Drawing from book history, using the tools of close
reading and textual criticism, it aims to offer a more nuanced history of the
form in early modern England – and especially of the so-called ‘sonnet craze’.
It does so by exploring the works of such major poets as Shakespeare, Sidney and
Spenser but also of lesser-studied sonneteers such as Barnabe Barnes and Gabriel
Harvey. It discusses how sonnets were written, published, received and
repurposed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, taking into account
interactions with the French and Italian literary traditions. The collection
also discusses current editorial practices and provides the first modern edition
of an early seventeenth-century Elizabethan miscellany which claims the Earl of
Essex, Spenser and ‘S.P.S.’ (presumably Sir Philp Sidney) as authors.
Impostors and impostures featured prominently in the political, social and religious life of early modern England. Who was likely to be perceived as impostor, and why? This book offers a full-scale analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon. Using approaches drawn from historical anthropology and micro-history, it investigates changes and continuities within the impostor phenomenon from 1500 to the late eighteenth century, exploring the variety of representations and perceptions of impostors, and their deeper meanings within the specific contexts of social, political, religious, institutional and cultural change. The book examines a wide range of sources, from judicial archives and other official records to chronicles, newspapers, ballads, pamphlets and autobiographical writings. Given that identity is never fixed, but involves a performative dimension, changing over time and space, it looks at the specific factors which constitute identity in a particular context, and asks why certain characteristics of an allegedly false identity were regarded as fake.
Earlymodern friendship: politics and law
Horizontal and hierarchical power relations within a community
Medieval Scholastic scholarship and its intellectual agenda shaped by ideas of a
universal order were irrevocably challenged by the Reformation and the consequent segmentation of Europe, a process accelerated by rivalries among major
political powers. The demand for intellectual tools to account for manifested
contingency and the particularity of political situations necessitated a turn to a
powerful alternative able to be sensitive to the experience of
This book aims both to shed light on the complex legal and procedural basis for early modern chaplaincy and to expand the understanding of what chaplains, in practice, actually did. Each chapter in the book treats in a different way the central question of how interactions in literature, patronage and religion made forms of cultural agency are available to early modern chaplains, primarily in England. The numerous case studies discussed in the book include instances of both the public and the more private aspects of chaplaincy. The book first focuses on the responsibility of the bishop of London's chaplains for pre-publication censorship of the press. It then examines the part played by ambassadorial chaplains such as Daniel Featley within wider networks of international diplomacy, interconfessional rivalry and print polemic. Patronage was evidently the key to determining the roles, activities and significance of early modern chaplains. Unsurprisingly, patrons often chose chaplains whose interests and priorities, whether theological or secular, were similar or complementary to their own. Episcopal chaplains had a politically significant role in keeping lay patrons loyal to the Church of England during the interregnum. Alongside patronage and religion, the book also considers the diverse array of literary activities undertaken by early modern chaplains.
Biblical drama in earlymodern 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 earlymodern English drama
DOES NOT HAVE a high opinion of the type of humour on offer
on the earlymodern 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
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.
Early modern stereotypes are often studied as evidence of popular belief, something mired with prejudices and commonly held assumptions. This volume of essays goes beyond this approach, and explores practices of stereotyping as contested processes. To do so the volume draws on recent works on social psychology and sociology. The volume thereby brings together early modern case studies, and explores how stereotypes and their mobilisation shaped various negotiations of power, in spheres of life such as politics, religion, everyday life and knowledge production. The volume highlights early modern men’s and women’s remarkable creativity and agency: godly reformers used the ‘puritan’ stereotype to understand popular aversion to religious discipline; Ben Jonson developed the characters of the puritan and the projector in ways that helped diffuse anxieties about fundamental problems in early modern church and state; playful allusions to London’s ‘sin and sea coal’ permitted a knowing acceptance of urban growth and its moral and environmental costs; Tory polemics accused of ‘popery’ returned the same accusations to Whig Protestants; humanists projected related Christian stereotypes outwards to make sense of Islam and Hinduism in the age of Enlightenment. Case studies collectively point to a paradox: stereotyping was so pervasive and foundational to social life and yet so liable to escalation that collective engagements with it often ended up perpetuating the very processes of stereotyping. By highlighting these dialectics of stereotyping, the volume invites readers to make fresh connections between the early modern past and the present without being anachronistic.
Supernatural beliefs have been vital to Scottish cultural development. In the early modern period, the Kirk played an all-important role in parish life, schooling the Scots on how to interpret the invisible world. Theologians and philosophers mused about the nature of God’s providence and the wiles of the Devil. Folk tradition peopled the landscape with fairies and nature spirits. The witch trials displayed the very real consequences of belief systems that would later be reframed as fantastical. This book analyses the Scottish supernatural between about 1500 and 1800. Drawing together an international range of scholars with expertise in history, ethnology and literary studies, it explores the diverse ways in which Scots understood and experienced magical beings and extraordinary events. There are chapters on trance experiences, spirit-guides, angels, preaching on the supernatural, political prophecies, providence, astrology, Second Sight and the Enlightenment’s encounter with the paganism of classical antiquity. The book’s historical material is framed by two literary chapters: one on the ‘elrich’ supernatural in the poetry of the early sixteenth century, and one on the political supernatural in the poetry of the eighteenth century. Overall, the book examines the cultural function of supernatural beliefs, and assesses how these beliefs evolved amid the upheaval of the Reformation, political and religious revolution, the emergence of the Enlightenment and the beginnings of romanticism.