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Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

Relatively late manifestations of the European philhellene revival of Greco-Roman letters presented to readers complex, extended prose fiction in which the trials of love mask an implicit moral and political allegory. Inevitably, coming during the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Reformation, this cultural phenomenon was not without its religious and political dimensions. Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus were the three principal English exponents of rhetorically conscious Greco-Roman erotic romance. This book enhances the understanding of the erotic romances of Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Lady Mary Sidney Wroth by setting them within an integrated political, rhetorical, and aesthetic context. It investigates how Renaissance translators alter rhetorical styles, and even contents, to accord with contemporary taste, political agendas and the restrictions of censorship. Particular attention is paid to differences between the French courtly style of Jacques Amyot and François de Belleforest and the more literal translations of their English counterparts. Valuable perspective on the early translations is offered through the modern English versions in B.P. Reardon's Collected Ancient Greek Novels. The book considers the three texts of Sidney's Arcadia, as a political romance sharing many of the thematic and rhetorical concerns of the ancients. It focuses on a narrow range of Shakespeare's plays including Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The book identifies Mary Sidney Wroth's masque-like prose allegory, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, as philhellene Protestant political propaganda.

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Victor Skretkowicz

. These editions both precede and overlap with Bishop Jacques Amyot’s French translations of Heliodorus (1547 (i.e., 1548); corrected 1559), Longus (1559), his monumental Plutarch’s Lives (1559), and François de Belleforest’s translation of Achilles Tatius (1568). On the Continent, both sides of the religious and political divide use prefatory dedications, and addresses to the reader, to

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

is only identified in subsequent editions as ‘B. Comingeois’, that is, François de Belleforest. The exclusive ‘privilege’ to print this work, which contains only translations of della Croce’s dedication and text, was granted to Pierre l’Huillier of Paris on 16 November 1568. Achilles Tatius had previously been represented in French through Jacques de Roquemaure or Rochemaure

in European erotic romance
The view through French spectacles
Richard Hillman

decidedly backhanded apology, through the personage of Time, in The Winter’s Tale . Beyond this, the introductory affirmations of Bernier bear on the present argument because they inadvertently focus the question of sources in similar terms. Bernier claims that he based his dramatisation on an old manuscript of the Gesta Romanorum , where the story is related, and that he discovered the extensive narrative version of François de Belleforest (in volume seven of the Histoires tragiques , first published in 1582), whose elegance he admits he admires, only when his work

in The Shakespearean comic and tragicomic
John Yamamoto-Wilson

precisely the masochistic tableau epitomised in Barker’s poem, but whereas for Barker the tableau as it stands is sufficient, Boccaccio’s story focuses primarily on the punishment and humiliation of the woman. Absence-in-presence: lost in translation A similar motif of a coldhearted woman getting her comeuppance is featured in one of Matteo Bandello’s Novelle. This merits detailed scrutiny since the story undergoes a significant metamorphosis in its translation from Italian into French (by François de Belleforest) and thence into English (by Geoffrey Fenton). A ‘malicious

in The hurt(ful) body
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Sarah Annes Brown

intimations of mother/son incest in François de Belleforest’s French version of the Amleth story, first published in 1570 as part of his Histoires Tragiques . During the ‘closet scene’, Belleforest describes how the Queen: having long time fixed her eyes upon Hamlet, as being ravished into some great and deepe contemplation, and as

in A familiar compound ghost
Richard Dutton

’ expectation, and Rose of the faire state’.6 It is a sustained demonstration of how not to do it. A good deal of this is inherent in the material that the Elizabethans inherited from Saxo Grammaticus and François de Belleforest, which I discuss below, and this doubtless helps to explain why they revisited it. But the figure of Fortinbras is new and distinctive in the only Elizabethan version to have survived, Shakespeare’s play. Fortinbras complicates succession issues radically by translating what had been an intra-family revenge plot into one of regime change. In what

in Doubtful and dangerous
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Richard Hillman

Garnier also taken into account). The link there, obviously, is the common subject matter. It may seem a rough and pointless passage, however, to the varied historical, fictional and polemical writings of François de Belleforest – an enormously prolific author, but a ‘subliterary’ one. (That category carries less weight than formerly, but it remains suggestive that Belleforest does not even

in French reflections in the Shakespearean tragic
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Stephen Orgel

in the Latin chronicle of Saxo Grammaticus and the Histoires tragiques of François de Belleforest – these were printed in both the original languages and in translation. For the German edition, the text was the standard translation of Schlegel, embellished by Gerhardt Hauptmann, who supplied several additional scenes (such as the confrontation of Claudius’s emissaries

in Spectacular Performances
Mark Greengrass

accounts.67 Why should we not recover something about the disputed role of language from the fractured and incomplete record of sixteenth-century French sectarian violence? Language is about power, and some are more skilled in the control of language than others, just as social norms accord some a greater degree of hegemony through the use of language than others. Stefano Guazzo (in his well-known Italian treatise on Civil Conversation, first published in a French translation by François de Belleforest in 1579) quoted the proverbial saying: ‘when the rich speak, everyone

in Ireland, 1641