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Reading the materials of English Renaissance literature

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.

Essays on text and context

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 book.

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Sarah Annes Brown

future 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 English Renaissance Literature , Philip Schwyzer makes the following observation about a group of English Renaissance treatments of ruin, including Shakespeare’s Sonnet

in A familiar compound ghost
John Derricke versus Edmund Spenser
Brian C. Lockey

University Press, 1994), pp. 1–10, 113–66. 3 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 English Renaissance Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 24–36, and Patricia Parker, Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: English Renaissance Literature and Elizabethan Imperial Expansion (Cambridge: Cambridge University

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Gary Waller

reflects what 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 English Renaissance Literature (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2005), 118, 28–34. 16 The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. William A

in Literary and visual Ralegh
Andrew Hadfield

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. 43 English Renaissance literature, 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

in Literature and class
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‘Of magic look and meaning’: themes concerning the cultural chess-player
John Sharples

definition of ‘Automaton’, quoted in W. B. Hyman, ‘Introduction’, in W. B. Hyman (ed.), The Automaton in English Renaissance Literature (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), p. 5. 12 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

in A cultural history of chess-players
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The sense of early modern writing
Mark Robson

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 English Renaissance Literature (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992 ); D. Summers, The Judgement of

in The sense of early modern writing
The Bowre of Blisse and Armida’s garden revisited
Jason Lawrence

in criticism as one of the great cruxes of English Renaissance literature’: 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

in Tasso’s art and afterlives
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The Jacobean writing of Britain
Christopher Ivic

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 English Renaissance Literature (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

in The subject of Britain, 1603–25