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while staying relevant to new contexts, and even to transcend conflicting beliefs, offering a unifying set of values for a diverse society to hold in common. Unfortunately, it is also very difficult to sustain in practice. Governments and their associated funding bodies will almost inevitably fail to reconcile the appealing language of shared consensus with the vexed task of

in Cultural value in twenty-first-century England
The case of Shakespeare

Academic analyses in cultural studies of the second half of the twentieth century had made a case to extend the term 'culture' to the tastes, practices and creativity of the groups marginalised by ethnicity and class. This book deals with Shakespeare's role in contemporary culture in twenty-first-century England. It looks in detail at the way that Shakespeare's plays inform modern ideas of cultural value and the work required to make Shakespeare part of modern culture. The book shows how advocacy for Shakespeare's universal and transcendent values deal with multiple forms of 'Shakespeare' in the present and the past. His plays have the potential to provide a tangible proxy for value that may stabilise the contingency and uncertainty that attends the discussion of both value and culture in the twenty-first century. The book shows how the discussions of culture involve both narratives of cultural change and ways of managing the knowledge in order to arrive at definitions of culture as valuable. It examines the new languages of value proffered by the previous Labour government in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The book further shows how both the languages and the practice of contemporary cultural policy have been drastically affected by economic pressures and the political changes occasioned by the post-2008 fiscal crisis.

, unquestionably, was far more easily obtained across the sea. In Ireland and the New World, the government did not finance colonization – at least directly. Plantations were granted to ‘undertakers’ who had the economic means to ‘undertake’, i.e., finance colonization. Likewise, the privateers who preyed on Spanish shipping were ‘undertakers’ who sold shares of their prospective spoils to investors. Capitalist enterprises, such as piracy and

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

To understand the atmosphere of Spenser's undergraduate residence at Cambridge we need to recognize that universities were far from being ivory towers. During the English Reformation, battles over ritual and church government played themselves out at Cambridge as fiercely as, or more fiercely than, they did in society at large. After the accession of Elizabeth, universities served as havens to the liberal intellectuals returning

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

Pembroke unless he committed himself to studying divinity or succeeded in obtaining a dispensation. He was reluctant to take holy orders, perhaps because of his ambition to secure a position in the government and an appointment at court. Clergymen had not figured prominently in Elizabeth's government prior to Whitgift, and the archbishop's ground-breaking appointment to the Privy Council did not occur until 2 February 1586. A decade earlier in

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Abstract only

concluded that he pursued the ‘ ars disserendi ’ principally as a route to high government office, without being overly troubled about becoming a ‘ vir bonus ’. 5 As we also know from the design of the Faerie Queene , Spenser, in contrast, was preoccupied with defining, characterizing, and shaping through poetry a ‘ vir bonus ’ or ‘noble person’. There is some evidence that Spenser was as aware as others such

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

annotation and commentary concerning Burghley [as a primary target of satire in Mother Hubberds Tale ] is broad, diverse, and remarkably consistent … while the government’s long-standing censorship of the offending remarks served only to confirm such impressions’. 12 In many respects, the premise of the beast fable as a genre is flatly opposed to that of Pythagoras’s unifying ecology. It is almost too obvious to be noted, and yet it is worth estranging the obvious for a moment. To represent human vice and folly in the guise of beasts is imagined

in Spenser and Donne

Religion, the government held that ‘no women nor artificers, prentices, journeymen, serving men of the degrees of yeomen or under, husbandmen, nor labourers’ were to be permitted to read the Bible in English. 11 Apparently, women and workers were regarded as too volatile to be allowed access to the stimulation of the scriptures. The Elizabethan educational establishment was less suspicious of the lower classes; the

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code

outskirts of Dublin where he could contemplate the virtues of civil life. Bryskett frames his translation of Giraldi's Tre dialoghi della vita civile as a series of conversations with actual people, some of them government officials, who can be identified, and one of whom is Edmund Spenser. At the end of the first day's conversation, Bryskett launches a humanist critique of the duel, selecting as his spokesman for the duel the military man

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

for writers – playwrights particularly – who openly flaunted topicality. As Annabel Patterson notes in Censorship and Interpretation , ‘governments fear the theater more than other forms of literature because of its capacity to stir up public opinion’ 3 – presumably because books and other documents tend to be read in private, and the

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind