Elizabethanpoetics and politics
The Perills are many, great and imminent.
Great in respect of the Persons and Matters.
The Quenes Majesty herself as Pacient.
The Pope, the King of France, and Spayne as Authors and Workers; and their
The Quene of Scotts as Instrument, wherby the Matters shall be attempted ageynst the
For the recovery of the Tirany to the Pope, which of late Years hath bene discovered
and so weakened, as, if the gret Monarchies wer not his Mayntenors, and intended
his Recovery, the same
This book is a study of the English Reformation as a poetic and political event. It examines the political, religious and poetic writings of the period 1520-1580, in relation to the effects of confessionalization on Tudor writing. The central argument of the book is that it is a mistake to understand this literature simply on the basis of the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. Instead one needs to see Tudor culture as fractured between emerging confessional identities, Protestant and Catholic, and marked by a conflict between those who embraced the process of confessionalization and those who rejected it. Sir Richard Morrison's A Remedy for Sedition was part of the Henrician government's propaganda response to the Pilgrimage of Grace. Edwardian politicians and intellectuals theorized and lauded the idea of counsel in both practice and theory. The book discusses three themes reflected in Gardiner's 1554 sermon: the self, the social effects of Reformation, and the Marian approaches to the interpretation of texts. The Marian Reformation produced its own cultural poetics - which continued to have an influence on Tudor literature long after 1558. The decade following the successful suppression of the Northern Rebellion in 1570 was a difficult one for the Elizabethan regime and its supporters. An overview of Elizabethan poetics and politics explains the extent to which the culture of the period was a product of the political and poetic debates of the early years of the Queen's reign.
divisive, but it also reflects his commitment to magisterial Protestantism and
a civic humanism that Sir Thomas Elyot would have recognized. Edmund
Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender and Sir Thomas Smith’s De Republica Anglorum
are far more sophisticated works than The Execution of Justice in England, but
they share the political ethos of Cecil’s tract.
The Shepheardes Calender has been seen as an inaugural text creating a
specifically Elizabethanpoetic idiom. In particular, it has been argued that
Spenser’s use of pastoral tropes and settings in this work created a fashion
The Art of The Faerie Queene is the first book centrally focused on the forms and poetic techniques employed by Spenser. Though much scholarly attention in recent years has been on the relationships between Spenser’s poetry and political and colonial history, the place of his epic in literary history has received less attention. This book aims to rectify that by re-reading The Faerie Queene as poetry which is at once absorbing, demanding, and experimental. The Spenser explored here ingeniously uses the tricks of his poetic style to amplify his symbolic agendas and to deepen the reading experience. One of the book’s particular originalities is the way in which it reframes Spenser’s place in literary history. As opposed to the stylistic conservatism diagnosed by previous generations of scholars, The Art of The Faerie Queene presents the poem as more radical, more edgy, and less conventional, particularly as it appeared to Spenser’s first readers. As such, the book proposes new ways of understanding the Elizabethan poetic Renaissance and the ways in which Spenser is best understood in terms of literary history. The book progresses from the choice of individual words through to questions of metre, rhyme, and stanza form up to the larger structures of canto, book, and the incomplete yet massive poem itself. It will be of particular relevance to undergraduates studying Elizabethan poetry, graduate students, and scholars of Renaissance poetry, for whom the formal aspect of the poetry has been a topic of growing relevance.
authorized not only by Elizabethanpoetic theory but by biblical practice
49 Ibid., 14.
50 Gallagher, Medusa’s Gaze, 239.
Mercilla and other Elizabethan types
and Elizabethan hermeneutic. Even conceding that Elizabeth’s motives
were mixed – that she was to some extent manipulative, disingenuous, and unjustified in sentencing Mary to death – it is not necessarily
unfaithful to Truth to omit or to recast negative incidents in the life of a
coreligionist held up for praise and emulation. This is just what the New
Testament book of Hebrews
’ (#199.101–2), writes Drummond of
the pastoral world he shared with the dead Anthony Alexander. Most
memorably of all, Spenser places Amyntas alongside Hyacinthus and
Narcissus among the ‘sad louers … transformd of yore’ (FQ III.vi.45).
The canonization of Amyntas – not just as a work but as a common
literary possession, a freely circulating pastoral topos – best indicates
how pastoral production burgeons spectacularly in the 1590s. Britain’s
Bower of Delights (1591) and The Arbour of Amorous Devices (1594)
are the first two Elizabethanpoetic miscellanies with