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status and affiliations may have alienated his father, and other Englishmen like him. 8 After all, Southwell’s letter to his father is, in asking him to restore himself in the faith, requiring him to become a hostage to a now vengeful English State. Part of his war of words was in this fraught personal arena, therefore; his letter and the several poems that seem to echo its sentiments suggest that he is

in Robert Southwell
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If honour and principle were the watchwords for Caesars of the nineteenth century, and totalitarianism the core of twentieth, the word which ghosts twenty-first-century productions most clearly is 'spin'. This book traces this evolutionary journey, and discusses productions because they somehow speak to ideas about the play which characterise their period of production, or they have significant features in their own right. It first gives an account of productions of the play prior to the Second World War, right from the stagings at the Globe Theatre's in 1599 to William Bridges-Adams's productions till 1934. The 1937 Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York's Mercury Theatre was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity with John Houseman's 1953 film. The book discusses three modernist productions of Lindsay Anderson, John Barton and Trevor Nunn, and the new versions of the play for the British TV. The productions under Thatcher's Britain are also focused as well as the unknown accents, especially the Indian and African ones. The productions of Italy, Austria and Germany productions have eschewed direct political association with past or present regimes. The book also presents a detailed study of two productions by a single company, Georgia Shakespeare. In the new millennium, the play's back-and-forth exchange between its long past and the shrill and vibrant insistence of its present, have taken centre stage.

Edmund Spenser and John Donne often wrote poetry while keeping an inner ear attuned to Continental verses and an informed eye on European history, from the Trojan War to the religious conflicts that were then bloodying lands only a few wet miles from the southern English coast. The differences between their exploitations of Continental texts and their incorporations of current events remain striking. In this condensed set of observations I focus chiefly on their poetry, including that which looks abroad, often with distress, and offer

in Spenser and Donne
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the Marches. An ongoing feud between Leicester and Sussex, another brother-in-law of Sidney's, a former lord deputy of Ireland, and now Lord Chamberlain, affected every aspect of Irish politics, ranging from the wars among rival Irish earls to manoeuvring at the English court. Recent scholarship has concluded that there was less factionalism on the English Privy Council than had previously been supposed, but this was not true of Ireland. Libels and

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

in his fourth year at Pembroke when these events occurred, and the lurid circumstances of Smith's unhappy demise ensured that these events were talked about in Cambridge and probably court circles. Ireland: economic advantages and the medieval past For Spenser, Ralegh, and perhaps others, Ireland was attractive because it was associated with an aristocratic past, the world in which the English War of the Roses took place. Whatever challenges a

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
From Donne to Herbert

, and thus had the religious authority and theological background to write an author’s life to be prefixed to a collection of sermons. 39 Walton would not have been able to write the kind of author’s life that Wotton might have written, and he said as much in his preface. As a result, he gradually turned away from the vita activa , and was forced to develop a new approach, which involved crafting a narrative of his subject’s inner, personal life. Walton’s concept of a ‘private’ life, which became more pronounced through the Civil War and the

in English literary afterlives
Love’s Labour’s Lost and As You Like It

-tale premises; the other making itself felt in the background and mandating the work’s insistent tragic overtones. The latter are abetted by deflationary French intertexts, notably narratives of the French wars in Italy and the French Wars of Religion. I suggest that this effect is anticipated, less radically but in roughly parallel ways, in the two earlier comedies, with the dramatic manipulation of ‘Frenchness’ effectively generating a perceptible doubleness of place: a court of Navarre idyllically exotic and inhabited by a range of fantastic figures, some of whom carry

in The Shakespearean comic and tragicomic
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Spenser, Donne, and the trouble of periodization

following him on expeditions to Cadiz and the Azores, Spenser by hailing his victorious return in Prothalamion (1596). The second instalment of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (also 1596) gives a blistering account in Book V of the European wars of religion in which Ireland, where he lived, was a major conflict zone, but it is Donne who travelled extensively on the Continent, including places where ‘mis-devotion’ reigned. 2 Spenser died in 1599 and was buried with much pomp at Westminster Abbey as if poetry itself had died with him. Yet Spenser’s voice would be heard

in Spenser and Donne
Aspects of Ramist rhetoric

attract the sexual attentions of the diseased French, Italian, and Dutch men. Through a clever innuendo and repetition of ‘quickly know thee, and know thee’ the speaker suggests that she risks becoming a common whore if she follows him to war. Nor, he says, should she behave melodramatically like a common girl, crying out with sudden premonition: ‘Oh, oh / Nurse, Oh my love is slain: I saw him go / O’er the white Alps alone; I saw him, I, / Assail’d, fight, taken, stabb’d, bleed, fall and die’ (lines 51–4). These lines not only use the figures of apostrophe

in Spenser and Donne

shown by his interference in the matters of the Harvey family), as well as mocking his ‘business’ both in his prolific writing and in his prodigality. A typical example of this type of reading of sonnet XVIII is that proposed by Jennifer Richards in Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern Literature (2003). 29 During her account of the pamphlet war between Harvey and Nashe, Richards singles out the sonnet as a particularly ‘distasteful’ example of Harvey’s attacks on Greene. However, the ‘distasteful’ reading of the sonnet rests on

in English literary afterlives