Aesthetics of contingency provides an important reconsideration of seventeenth-century literature in light of new understandings of the English past. Emphasising the contingency of the political in revolutionary England and its extended aftermath, Matthew Augustine challenges prevailing literary histories plotted according to structural conflicts and teleological narrative. In their place, he offers an innovative account of imaginative and polemical writing, in an effort to view later seventeenth-century literature on its own terms: without certainty about the future, or indeed the recent past. In hewing to this premise, the familiar outline of the period – with red lines drawn at 1642, 1660, or 1688 – becomes suggestively blurred. For all of Milton’s prophetic gestures, for all of Dryden’s presumption to speak for, to epitomise his Age, writing from the later decades of the seventeenth century remained supremely responsive to uncertainty, to the tremors of civil conflict and to the enduring crises and contradictions of Stuart governance.
A study of major writings from the Personal Rule to the Glorious Revolution and beyond, this book also re-examines the material conditions of literature in this age. By carefully deciphering the multi-layered forces at work in acts of writing and reception, and with due consideration for the forms in which texts were cast, this book explores the complex nature of making meaning in and making meaning out of later Stuart England.
opportunist Edmund Waller readily suggest – accounts of seventeenth-century literature continue to be hung (one might say hung up) on oppositional frameworks. 2 It is true that whereas our histories once baldly juxtaposed ‘Puritan and Cavalier’, we now possess more modulated studies, for instance, of ‘the writing of the English republic’ and ‘the writing of royalism’. 3 Drawing their evidence from broadsides, newsbooks, diaries, and correspondence as well as from more traditional literary sources, such projects clearly entail a radically revised notion of ‘literature
What was distinctive about the founding principles and practices of Quakerism? This book explores how the Light Within became the organising principles of this seventeenth-century movement, inaugurating an influential dissolution of the boundary between the human and the divine. Taking an original perspective on this most enduring of radical religious groups, it combines literary and historical approaches to produce a fresh study of Quaker cultural practice. Close readings of George Fox's Journal are put in dialogue with the voices of other early Friends and their critics to argue that the ‘light within’ set the terms for the unique Quaker mode of embodying spirituality and inhabiting the world. This study of the cultural consequences of a bedrock belief shows how the Quaker spiritual self was premised on a profound continuity between sinful subjects and godly omnipotence. It will be of interest not only to scholars and students of seventeenth-century literature and history, but also to those concerned with the Quaker movement, spirituality and the changing meanings of religious practice in the early modern period.
The correspondence of John Dryden is the definitive edition of the letters of the most important playwright, poet and translator of the late seventeenth century. Dryden defined an age through his dramatic, poetic, satirical and critical writings and forged a new way for an author to publish, which can be seen in the Dryden-Tonson Miscellanies and his major translations such as the Works of Virgil. This newly transcribed correspondence is placed in the context of contemporaneous and current debates about literature, politics and religion. It is also the most important record from this period of the relationship between the writer Dryden and his bookseller Tonson, the most important publisher of his time, but possibly in the history of English literature, establishing a body of works which remains at the heart of literary studies. The correspondence shows not only the relationship between these two men with powerfully divergent politics, but also glimpses of the different means by which patronage and commerce coalesce in the period. This illustrated correspondence contains a full biographical and textual introduction and calendar of letters. It is transcribed diplomatically, structured chronologically, and contains introductory sections contextualising each correspondence. The correspondence presents the fullest possible critical and editorial history of the letters. The readership will be undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students and academics with an interest in seventeenth century literature, politics, religion and culture. The editor won the MLA Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters.
cohort of Marvellians have transformed our understanding of the poet and polemicist, and to have read 249 part iv: afterword seventeenth-century literature with undergraduates and graduate students at Washington University over several decades. They have given patient and generous attention to what must have seemed, at times, a strange and challenging set of preoccupations. Their energies and intellectual engagement, their conversation and their writings – their companionship – have made our common enterprise wonderfully rewarding. 250
. While this means she bore the blame for the postlapsarian condition, this also made her, as Elizabeth Hodgson shows in ‘A “Paraditian Creature”: Eve and her unsuspecting garden in seventeenth-century literature’, a more interesting character for early modern writers of both sexes, a figure in whom they seem much more invested than her allegedly less sinning husband. Hodgson
Milton, John Bunyan, Francis Bacon, or Thomas Browne, thus reaffirming the existing canon.5 The impressively comprehensive The Seventeenth-Century Literature Handbook (2010) also does not include prose fiction in its discussion of the major genres and movements of the century.6 Even more remarkably, the book’s section on ‘Key Critical Concepts and Topics’ avoids mention of prose fiction, concentrating instead on drama and poetry. Yet the book’s discussion of ‘Changes in the Canon’ describes three areas of critical interest: looking at neglected works by established
York : Columbia University Press . Galdon , J.A. ( 1975 ) Typology and Seventeenth-Century Literature . Paris : Mouton . Garter , T. ( 1578 ) The commody of the moste vertuous and godlye Susanna . London : Hugh Jackson . Gerrish , B.A. ( 1982 ) The
Interview with Steven Millhauser’, Transatlantica 1 ( http://transatlantica.revues.org/5302 ). Fish, S. (1972), Self-Consuming Artifacts: the Experience of Seventeenth-Century Literature , Berkeley: University of California Press
Skura, Tudor Autobiography: Listening for Inwardness (2008), p. 2. Earlier, in 1969, Peter Delaney suggested that the way forward in approaching early modern autobiography was to ‘frame a definition [of autobiography] which excludes the bulk of random or incidental self-revelation scattered through seventeenth-century literature’ and prioritizes texts that were ‘primarily written to give a coherent account of the author’s life’. Delaney, British Autobiography in the Seventeenth Century (1969), p. 1 15 Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, ‘Afterward: Intention Redux: Early Modern