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‘I dote on Tasso’

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

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
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code

that defined itself and its enemies by nationality and religion. However barbaric Henry Sidney's memoirs may seem to those who, like Ascham, reject chivalric romance, this code crossed lines of national and religious identity in a way that was to become inconceivable in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and our own centuries. In the late sixteenth century, a community of honour united the Irish chieftain, old English lord, and English military

in The early Spenser, 1554–80

until the latter half of the nineteenth century. Like many clergymen who wished to progress in the church hierarchy, scholars were supposed to be single in order to devote themselves to their studies. This convention was so pervasive that there were no statutes forbidding marriage in the charters of colleges that were founded before the Reformation. Since Protestantism, in contrast to Roman Catholicism, favoured the idea of a married clergy

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Lyly, euphuism and a history of non-reading (1632–1905)

the sixteenth century in general or with John Lyly in particular. None of the above quotations exhibits an awareness of the writer who gave the style its name. How did a word relating to Lyly’s prose fiction, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and His England, become detached from Lyly’s writing to the point that it could be applied to sonic booms, American

in John Lyly and Early Modern Authorship
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Remapping early modern literature

culture: from Macaulay to Eliot The natural starting point for a discussion of seventeenth-century historiography is surely Lord Macaulay, Whig politician, historian, and litterateur, and common ancestor of modern English political and cultural history. Macaulay’s History of England from the Accession of James II (1849–61), in the words of Hugh Trevor-Roper, ‘won an instant and seemingly effortless success’, and so became the standard history of England for the nineteenth century. 18 What is more, it installed a triumphalist faith in progress

in Aesthetics of contingency
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Heywood’s (passing) reference to ‘M. Kid , in the Spanish Tragedy ’. 6 The late nineteenth-century interest in the medieval and Tudor periods resurrected the play for an academic reading public and attracted the interest of editors. Only in 1921 did it return to the stage owing to the enthusiasm of an amateur troupe, the Birkbeck Players (at Birkbeck College, University of London), who staged it again in 1931. Next followed a

in Doing Kyd
A brief history of Scottish editions

nineteenth century, see John Roach, Public Examinations in England, 1850–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971). 22 On Scotland’s role in relation to the development of English studies, see Robert Crawford ed., The Scottish Invention of English Literature (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998

in Shakespeare and Scotland
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New Place, 1677–1759

results from the nineteenth-century excavations, which identified the house as ‘a strong edifice built chiefly of brick’ (Halliwell, 1864 : 183), were reviewed alongside the modern results to complete a comprehensive understanding of the surviving evidence. Figure 6

in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place
Hugh Clopton’s ‘grete house’ of c. 1483

that Hugh Clopton used the frontage range as shops. Throughout his early career, Clopton’s primary income was from wool, and he exported his wares to the Continent. A number of cloth- or bale-seals made from lead, used throughout Europe from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century for identification and regulation purposes, were recovered from the site. Each of these seals was stamped with a unique design to

in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place