Literature, Travel, and Colonial Writing in the English Renaissance, 1545-1625

Paperback | December 18, 2007

byAndrew Hadfield

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What was the purpose of representing foreign lands for writers in the English Renaissance? This innovative and wide-ranging study argues that writers often used their works as vehicles to reflect on the state of contemporary English politics, particularly their own lack of representation inpublic institutions. Sometimes such analyses took the form of displaced allegories, whereby writers contrasted the advantages enjoyed, or disadvantages suffered, by foreign subjects with the political conditions of Tudor and Stuart England. Elsewhere, more often in explicitly colonial writings,authors meditated on the problems of government when faced with the possibly violent creation of a new society. If Venice was commonly held up as a beacon of republican liberty which England would do well to imitate, the fear of tyrannical Catholic Spain was ever present - inspiring and hauntingmuch of the colonial literature from 1580 onwards. This stimulating book examines fictional and non-fictional writings, illustrating both the close connections between the two made by early modern readers and the problems involved in the usual assumption that we can make sense of the past with thecategories available to us. Hadfield explores in his work representations of Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Far East, selecting pertinent examples rather than attempting to embrace a total coverage. He also offers fresh readings of Shakespeare, Marlowe, More, Lyly, Hakluyt, Harriot, Nashe,and others.

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What was the purpose of representing foreign lands for writers in the English Renaissance? This innovative and wide-ranging study argues that writers often used their works as vehicles to reflect on the state of contemporary English politics, particularly their own lack of representation inpublic institutions. Sometimes such analyses t...

Andrew Hadfield is at the English Department, University of Sussex.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:December 18, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199233659

ISBN - 13:9780199233656

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Changing Places in Renaissance LiteratureChapter One: `How harmful be the errors of princes': English Travellers in Europe, 1545-1620Chapter Two: `What is the Matter with you Christian Men?': English Colonial Literature, 1555-1625Chapter Three: `The perfect glass of state': English Fiction from William Baldwin to John Brady, 1553-1625Chapter Four: `All my travels history': Reading the Locations of Renaissance PlaysAfterwordBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Hadfield's study is important both for the special focus he brings to this area and for the breadth of its research. . . . both forceful and productive . . . Hadfield effectively calls for us to reconsider some texts, writers and genres to which we have not devoted sufficient criticalattention.'Sixteenth Century Journal