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‘I dote on Tasso’
Jason Lawrence

poets are always a little mad’. 2 However glib Eliot might have believed her character’s words to be, they are actually rather apt in describing how Tasso’s life was approached, in England and beyond, throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, where historical fact was often downplayed or ignored in favour of a more striking legendary

in Tasso’s art and afterlives
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Spenser, Donne, and the trouble of periodization
Yulia Ryzhik

typically associated with the Elizabethan Golden Age, Donne with the ‘metaphysical’ poets of the early seventeenth century. Critical discourse overlooks, or else takes for granted, that Spenser’s and Donne’s poetic careers and chronologies of publication overlapped considerably. Hailed as the Virgil of England, and later as its Homer, Spenser was the reigning ‘Prince of Poets’, and was at the height of his career when Donne began writing in the early 1590s. Both poets, at one point, hoped to secure the patronage of the Earl of Essex, Donne by

in Spenser and Donne
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Laetitia Sansonetti, Rémi Vuillemin and Enrica Zanin

unproblematically be tackled in the same way as a nineteenth-century poem, or, on the contrary, that it was an invention of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American criticism. 11 While we understand the necessity to envisage the lyric from a transhistorical perspective, and to uncover continuities in the history of poetry, we also deem it crucial to bear in mind that early modern theorists did not define the

in The early modern English sonnet
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Shakespeare and the supernatural
Victoria Bladen and Yan Brailowsky

, the political state generally took a dim view of magic, evidenced by the introduction of witchcraft legislation in England during the sixteenth century. In 1542 Henry VIII passed the first Witchcraft Act (subsequently repealed in 1547 by Edward VI); in 1563 Elizabeth I passed a new Witchcraft Act that punished those convicted of damage to property or persons by witchcraft with one year's imprisonment, and those convicted of murder by witchcraft with the death penalty. Originally, practitioners could only be prosecuted if their magic resulted in harm; however, the

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
Transformations of witchcraft in Macbeth discourse
William C. Carroll

: ‘We gain more life by Duncan 's death’ (2.1; p. 28). After Davenant, singing and dancing witches became the norm in productions throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, their numbers ever increasing. Kemble had a chorus of fifty or more singing witches in his 1794 production. 29 Davenant's singing and dancing witches had been parodied almost immediately by Thomas Duffett in the Epilogue to his burlesque The Empress of Morocco. A Farce in 1673, in which the witches were simply prostitutes working the

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
Steve Sohmer

mast and a glance at Arion, the Greek poet tossed into the sea by pirates but miraculously redeemed by a passing dolphin. Stoppard may have been sufficiently informed to know that from at least the early nineteenth century some performances of Twelfth Night began, ‘What country (Friends) is this?’ In their Arden Series 2 edition (1975), Lothian and Craik didn’t think much of

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Jean R. Brink

was Philip of Spain, and at the time of Philip Sidney's birth King Philip was the husband of the Queen of England, Mary Tudor. Sidney's mother was descended from the powerful Dudley family. Spenser, though now linked to Sidney in literary assessments of the age, did not in the sixteenth century belong to his social class. Spenser's society valued gentility and lineage and revered those who came from old families whose rank and property spanned

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
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Shakespeare’s shifting sonnets. From Love’s Labour’s Lost to The Passionate Pilgrim
Sophie Chiari

to look at the nature of poetic transaction in sixteenth-century England. This will eventually lead me to reassess the nature of the relationship between William Jaggard, the printer still often accused of having ‘stolen’ Shakespeare’s poems for his Passionate Pilgrim , and Shakespeare himself, who certainly shared with Jaggard an acute sense of commercial strategy. Were

in The early modern English sonnet
Greg Wells

The two major sources for understanding English libraries, Books in Cambridge Inventories and the Private Libraries of Renaissance England series (PLRE), are considerably more sparse for the early seventeenth century than they are for the sixteenth. Cambridge inventories with medical content jump from Thomas Lorkin (Professor of Physic at Cambridge, 1564–90) to John Nidd ( c . 1620/30–1659). Nidd was not medically qualified but bequeathed over a hundred medical texts. The PLRE volumes (up to volume 8 at the time of writing) contain no medical collections of

in John Hall, Master of Physicke
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Elisabeth Chaghafi

research in Shakespeare criticism. For example, Margreta de Grazia’s Shakespeare Verbatim and Andrew Murphy’s Shakespeare in Print both make a persuasive case for the impact of late eighteenth-century Shakespeare editions on the development of both Shakespeare criticism and the perception of Shakespeare as an author figure. While a lot of emphasis has of course been placed on the impact of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editions, the idea of ‘Shakespeare’ conveyed by early modern editions has also become the subject of investigation. This is reflected in new

in English literary afterlives