Formal Matters is intended as an exploration of the emerging and potential links in early modern literary and cultural studies between the study of material texts on the one hand, and the analysis of literary form on the other. The essays exemplify some of the ways in which an attention to the matter of writing now combines in critical practice with the questioning of its forms: how an interest in forms might combine with an interest in the material text and, more broadly, in matter and things material. Section I, ‘Forming literature’, makes literary and sub-literary forms its focus, examining notions of authorship; ways of reading, consuming, and circulating literary and non-literary material; and modes of creative production and composition made possible by the exigencies of specific forms. Section III, ‘The matters of writing’, examines forms of writing, both literary and non-literary, that grapple with other fields of knowledge, including legal discourse, foreign news and intelligence, geometry, and theology. At stake for the authors in this section is the interface between discourses encoded in, and even produced through, specific textual forms.Linking these two sections are a pair of essays take up the subject of translation, both as a process that transforms textual matter from one formal and linguistic mode to another and as a theorization of the mediation between specific forms, materials, and cultures.
This collection of sixteen essays, the first devoted to John Derricke’s work,
offers new readings of, and new sources behind, The Image of Irelande: With a
Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581), all to better explicate facets of this difficult
and complex book. While prior scholarship on Derricke was largely confined to
commentary on the illustrations, the essays in this volume encompass a broad
range of approaches to the Image of Irelande in its entirety. Although on the
face of it, The Image is blatantly pro-Sidney and anti-Irish propaganda, and has
always been so received, the essays in this collection combine to suggest that
Derricke’s book is in fact far more culturally and politically daring than has
been assumed, with a highly sophisticated textual and visual presentation only
now brought into focus. In addition to scrutinizing Derricke’s poetic and
iconographic practices, the essays include insights from architecture and
archaeology, print history and reading practices, studies of civic display and
colonial ideologies. The collection, divided into five sections (Ideologies,
Archaeologies, Print and publication, Influences, and Interpretations),
establishes a basis on which to build future analyses of Derricke’s enigmatic
we don’t have to layer past and present on top of one another to
create a hybrid montage. As a vision of Rome’s possible future the
picture of cows lowing in the Forum is simply and literally true. In
Archaeologies of EnglishRenaissanceLiterature , Philip
Schwyzer makes the following observation about a group of English
Renaissance treatments of ruin, including Shakespeare’s Sonnet
1994), pp. 1–10, 113–66.
For in-depth discussion of this controversy, see Andrew Murphy,
‘Revising Criticism: Ireland and the British Model’, in David J. Baker and
Willy Maley (eds), British Identities and EnglishRenaissanceLiterature (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 24–36, and Patricia Parker, Language and
Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: EnglishRenaissanceLiterature and Elizabethan Imperial
Expansion (Cambridge: Cambridge University
most of the Protestant leaders themselves would have wished – and especially those for whom the transference of the Virgin’s aura to the Queen of
England was a powerful political tool. Interestingly, however, in Ralegh’s
poem, there are powerful traces of what was increasingly becoming a
fragmented, even lost world. The poem contains echoes of the devotion
15 Grace Tiffany, Love’s Pilgrimage: The Holy Journey in EnglishRenaissanceLiterature
(Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2005), 118, 28–34.
16 The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. William A
It therefore follows that we cannot separate what writers wrote from their identities, one obvious reason why it is important to understand how people existed in the past.
EnglishRenaissanceliterature, like the early modern lives of those who wrote it, is saturated with class consciousness. Most obviously writers endured the anxiousness generated by their insecure status: most were younger sons who had not inherited property and had to make use of their education and live by their wits, making them socially
‘Of magic look and meaning’: themes concerning the cultural chess-player
definition of ‘Automaton’, quoted in W. B. Hyman,
‘Introduction’, in W. B. Hyman (ed.), The Automaton in EnglishRenaissanceLiterature
(Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), p. 5.
A cultural history of chess-players
6 ‘Acknowledgements’, in A. S. Mittman (ed.) with P. Dendle, The Ashgate Research
Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), p. xxii.
7 D. H. Li, The Genealogy of Chess (Bethesda, MD: Premier Publishing, 1998).
8 H. Golombek, A History of Chess (London: Routledge, 1976), p. 10.
9 R. Eales, Chess: The History of a Game (Glasgow
Arts of Language (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2001 ); P. Mack
(ed.), Renaissance Rhetoric (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994 ); P. Parker, Literary Fat Ladies:
Rhetoric, Gender, Property (London: Methuen, 1987 ); N. Rhodes, The Power of Eloquence
and EnglishRenaissanceLiterature (London: Harvester
Wheatsheaf, 1992 ); D. Summers, The
in criticism as one of the great
cruxes of EnglishRenaissanceliterature’: 113
But all those pleasaunt bowres and Pallace
braue, Guyon broke downe, with rigour pitilesse;
Nor ought their goodly workmanship might saue Them
from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse, But that their
blisse he turn’d to
literature, see Christopher Ivic, ‘Mapping British identities: John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine ’, in David J. Baker and Willy Maley (eds), British Identities and EnglishRenaissanceLiterature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 135–55.
24 Speed, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine , 131.
25 Anderson, Imagined Communities , 19.
26 Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood , 128, 145.
27 Speed, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine , 4. The Theatre ’s maps are not paginated; the map of Scotland appears between pages 131 and