Thomas Heywood was unusual in the diversity and sheer quantity of his output, and fascinatingly individual in his classicism. This volume offers a ground-breaking investigation of his engagement with the classics across a writing career that spanned more than 40 years. It is the first in-depth study of his classicism, and it features a variety of perspectives. The introduction and twelve essays trace how the classics shaped Heywood’s writing in a wide variety of genres – translation, drama, epyllic and epic verse, compendia, epigrams, panegyrics and pamphlets – and informed both his many pageants and the warship he helped design for Charles I. Close readings demonstrate the depth and breadth of his classicism, establishing the rich influence of continental editions and translations of Latin and Greek texts, early modern mythographies, chronicles and the medieval tradition of Troy as revived by the Tudors. The essays probe Heywood’s habit of juxtaposing different and often disjunctive layers of a capaciously conceived ‘classical tradition’ in thought-provoking ways, attend to his use of the multiplicitous logic of myth to interrogate gender and heroism, and consider the way he turns to antiquity not only to celebrate but also to defamiliarise the theatrical or political present. Different contributions focus on A Woman Killed with Kindness, Oenone and Paris, Loves School, The Rape of Lucrece, Troia Britanica, the Ages plays, Gynaikeion, Pleasant Dialogues and Dramma’s, Apology for Actors and Sovereign of the Seas. Classical reception thus provides an illuminating, productively cross-generic angle for approaching Heywood’s prolific output and idiosyncratic aesthetic.
Countercultural Blake in the Therapoetic Practice of maelstrÖm
This article explores the reception and transformation of William Blake’s
countercultural legacy by focusing on the neo-Romantic resurgences within
maelstrÖm reEvolution, an experimental performance and arts collective
based in Brussels but with heavy transnational affiliations. In relation to the
company’s neo-shamanic and therapeutic conception of
poiesis, Blake is an inspirational figure amongst a broader
family of mentors ranging from Beat Generation writers to Arthur Rimbaud and
Alexandro Jodorowsky. The Blake–maelstrÖm connection is here
examined for the first time. Blending classical reception studies with a broader
interest in the intersections between poiesis and the
‘sacred’, this article approaches countercultural Blake as the
archetypal embodiment of the shamanic poet. More specifically, it reflects on
how, as the poet of ‘double-edged madness’ and ‘Spiritual
Strife’, Blake’s subversion of alienation into ecstasy feeds
maelstrÖm’s own ‘therapoetic’ experimentalism and
psycho-aesthetic endeavours to restore the lines of communication between the
‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.
For educated poets and readers in the Renaissance, classical literature was as familiar and accessible as the work of their compatriots and contemporaries – often more so. Their creative response to it was not a matter of dry scholarship or inert imitation, but rather of engagement in an ancient and lively conversation which was still unfolding, both in the modern languages and in new Latin verse. This volume seeks to recapture that sense of intimacy and immediacy, as scholars from both sides of the modern disciplinary divide come together to eavesdrop on the conversations conducted through allusion and intertextual play in works from Petrarch to Milton and beyond, and offer their perspectives on the intermingling of ancient and modern strains in the reception of the classical past and its poetry. The essays include illuminating discussions of Ariosto, Du Bellay, Spenser, Marlowe, the anonymous drama Caesars Revenge, Shakespeare and Marvell, and look forward to the grand retrospect of Shelley’s ‘Adonais’. Together, they help us to understand how poets across the ages have thought about their relation to their predecessors, and about their own contributions to what Shelley would call ‘that great poem, which all poets… have built up since the beginning of the world’.
John Fletcher’s Rome is the first book to explore Fletcher’s engagement with classical antiquity. Fletcher was the most influential playwright of the Jacobean era, whose canon amounts to around 10 per cent of the extant plays of the early modern commercial theatre. Like his more celebrated contemporaries Shakespeare and Jonson, Fletcher wrote, alone or in collaboration, a number of Roman plays: Bonduca, Valentinian, The False One, and The Prophetess. Unlike Shakespeare’s or Jonson’s plays, however, Fletcher’s Roman plays have seldom been the subject of sustained critical discussion. This groundbreaking study examines these plays as a group for the first time, identifying disorientation as the unifying principle of Fletcher’s portrayal of imperial Rome. John Fletcher’s Rome argues that Fletcher’s dramatization of ancient Rome exudes a sense of scepticism regarding the authority of ancient models that is connected to his irreverent approach to classical texts. In doing so, the book sheds new light on Fletcher’s intellectual life, provides fresh insights into his vision of history, illuminates the interconnections between the Roman plays and the rest of his canon, and offers a corrective to dominant narratives that equate Shakespeare’s Rome with ancient Rome as perceived in the early modern imagination in general. As we approach the quatercentenary of Fletcher’s death in 2025, John Fletcher’s Rome offers a worthwhile reappraisal of a playwright who produced a dispirited yet vibrant dramatization of the ancient Roman world that shines as a uniquely gripping instance of the reception of the classical past on the early modern stage.
Pasts at play examines nineteenth-century children as active consumers of a variety of British pasts, from the biblical and classical to the medieval and early modern. This interdisciplinary collection bridges different disciplinary approaches to chart shifting markets for historical education between 1750 and 1914: a critical period in the development of children's culture, as children became target consumers for publishers. Boys and girls across the social classes often experienced different pasts simultaneously for the purpose of amusement and instruction. Play provides a dynamic lens through which to explore children’s interaction with the past as a didactic vehicle. Encompassing the past as both subject and site for production and consumption of earlier pasts (historical, mythical or imagined), each contributor reconstructs children’s encounters with different media to uncover the cultural work of individual pasts and exposes the key role of playfulness in the British historical imagination. These ten essays argue that only through exploring the variety of media and different pasts marketed to children can we fully understand the scope of children’s interactions with the past. Sources, from games to guidebooks and puzzles to pageants, represent the range of visual, performative, material and textual cultures analysed here to develop fresh methodologies and new perspectives on children’s culture and the uses of the past. Bringing together scholars from across a range of disciplines, including Classics, English and History, this volume is for researchers and students interested in the afterlives of the past, the history of education, and child consumerism and interaction.
contacts with the Roman world.
Finally, before we get stuck in, a final word about Classicalreception. As we’ve noted, the Roman world in popular culture won’t necessarily be a world that would be recognisable to a contemporary Roman: as a writer, historian, or designer, one may strive for historical accuracy in design, but how that design is adapted, used, and acted upon is a component of Classicalreception , that is, how the ancient world is interpreted by the current audience who engages with it. This is especially true with depictions of
Britain, 1905–2016’ project (AHRC; KCL) have emphasised the legacy of different pasts.
Alongside these projects, there has been a sustained scholarly interest in classicalreception and medievalism
– and an increased awareness of different sorts of sources and encounters with the past.
In the past decade, there has also been a developing literature on the ways in which
Focusing on interweaving processes in early modern appropriations of
myth, the chapters draw on a variety of approaches to ask how the uses
of mythological stories enabled writers to play with representations of
history, gender and desire. Building on recent research in different
areas of early modern studies (classicalreception, history of the book,
medieval heritage, theatre history), this volume seeks to heighten
importantly, between them and the rest of the Fletcher canon, thereby throwing into sharper relief both the unique traits of the Roman plays and the unmistakable signs of continuity between them and Fletcher's wider oeuvre. Finally, it has added a new chapter to the history of classicalreception in early modern England by focusing on a sizeable and noteworthy, though still sadly under-appreciated, corpus of plays, thereby shifting attention away from Shakespeare while simultaneously debunking an all too easy equation between Shakespeare's depiction of ancient Rome and the
title are a series of humorous religious stories, all in iambic
The widespread use of iambic metres, especially in the
first half of the seventeenth century, and especially (though far from
only) for satiric and invective verse suggests an entire area of
‘classicalreception’ that has gone unremarked in existing
scholarship. Though a handful of studies of early modern satire