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Telling stories from the Cavendish financial accounts
Alison Wiggins

financial accounts from the mid-sixteenth century and looks outwards from the static lists of payments to the surrounding lively and animate web of social and interpersonal relations. This chapter asks what might be revealed to us about the objects and persons named in its monetarised lists and what gendered power dynamics might arise. Early modern financial accounts have often been underestimated as sources – mined as quarries of facts within the biographical tradition – but this chapter is concerned with the ways in which they can reward analyses of their language

in Bess of Hardwick
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Spenser, Donne, and the trouble of periodization
Yulia Ryzhik

social, political, and intellectual pressures of the time. To what extent should we consider the political and intellectual unrest of the late sixteenth century as a crisis of poetic imagination? Where do Spenser’s and Donne’s reactions to this crisis coincide, and where do they diverge? What insights might be gained from juxtaposing two poets so apparently unlike one another for comparison rather than contrast? How might this juxtaposition change our understanding of each poet individually? Reading Donne in the context of Spenser not only modifies our view of Donne as

in Spenser and Donne
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Lisa Hopkins

William St Loe. David Durant estimates her income by 1600 as £20,000 per annum,18 an enormous sum by contemporary standards, and in addition her four marriages took her steadily up the social scale. Her first marriage, to Robert Barlow, ended with the death of her husband on 24 December 1544; it is notable principally for the fact that, as Terry Kilburn has shown, the young bridegroom’s status as a ward made him quite powerless in the matter of his own marriage (and thus helps us to understand that Bess’s ‘bad son’ Henry may have felt similarly manipulated when Bess

in Bess of Hardwick
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code
Jean R. Brink

Mulcaster, Ascham, and others … had propagated a myth of social mobility, of a career open to talents, with ‘learning’ as the ladder by which the heights might be attained. In effect, the norm they established resolved the old debate of whether the active or the contemplative life were preferable by combining the two, though in such a way as to give the active life priority. (68

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Shakespeare, Harington and onomastic scatology
Peter J. Smith

power in which it constructs social meanings. Names, as he points out right at the beginning, ‘were first imposed for the distinction of persons . . . and have beene especially respected as whereon the glorie and credite of men is grounded, and by which the same is convayed to the knowledge of posteritie’. 2 As in so many other subjects, Michel de Montaigne occupied a sceptical

in Between two stools
The intrusion of the time into the play
Richard Wilson

Shakespeare: ‘Sitting on stools to display fine clothes and smoking to show wealth were not the only marks that distinguished gallants. By no means the least obtrusive was their headgear and there is no reason to suppose a gallant would lower his feather for the multitude behind. Hats were worn in ascending order of social obtrusiveness and gallants wore hats with feathers as broad as ostrich plumes

in Free Will
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Shakespeare’s brute part
Richard Wilson

’. 54 And this threat of a mugging is of a piece with the bullying essentialism the argument shares with Braveheart and other films of the Celtic Revenge, in a formula that equates Englishness with homosexuality and homosexuality with effeminacy, and relies upon the familiar unexamined chiasmus that the only permitted targets of unthinking homophobia are now English, and of socially acceptable

in Free Will
Shakespeare in the time of the political
Richard Wilson

–2 ]. When it came to evictions on his own turf his last recorded utterance that ‘I was not able to bear the enclosing’ is harder to read. Was his parting word on the most divisive social problem of the age that he could not bear or bar the change? Did he regret he had not barred the enclosure? Or that he could not bear its cost? And was the ‘I’ who he said ‘could not bear the

in Free Will
Paul Edmondson

his art. For all that Shakespeare invested in Stratford-upon-Avon, both personally and financially, he would have appreciated it very differently from London which, by contrast, was a place of expansive, inclusive and creative freedoms. Stratford-upon-Avon gave Shakespeare a deeply rooted love of family, loyal neighbours and friends, and although he came to enjoy a prominent social standing there, he

in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place
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Jeremy Tambling

speaker, or the writer, while it seems to relate to a single experience or single set of ideas, really relates to different memories, held, as it were, in different archaeological strata. Listening to one person means hearing what has been inscribed at different, and separate moments of life: it is not a single person who is speaking! Memory and consciousness This material must be

in Literature and psychoanalysis