Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance: Revised Edition

Paperback | September 1, 2002

byDavid Norbrook

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Since its first publication in 1984, Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance has been recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative study of its kind. For this new edition, Norbrook has provided an extensive afterword which gives an overview of developments in methodology andresearch since 1984, responds to some criticisms, and points the way to further inquiry. Footnotes have been updated to take account of the current state of knowledge, and a chronological table has been provided for ease of reference. Norbrook brings out the range and adventurousness of early modern poets' engagements with the public world. The first part of the book establishes the more radical currents of thought shaping Renaissance poetry: civic humanism and apocalyptic Protestantism. Norbrook then shows how such leadingElizabethan poets as Sidney and Spenser, often seen as conservative monarchists, responded powerfully though sometimes ambivalently to more radical ideas. A chapter on Fulke Greville shows how that ambivalence reaches an extreme in some remarkable poetry. Ben Jonson emerges from this analysis as afigure with a political edge, pioneering a reaction against Elizabethan literary and political discourses for the new Stuart monarchy. That reaction in turn generated a neglected vein of 'oppositional' poetry under James I. Milton's early poetry can then be seen as negotiating a complex butincreasingly emphatic path between opposing political and literary currents, looking forward to the debates of the English Revolution and beyond. This book's exceptional interdisciplinary commitment makes it a significant intervention in historians' debates about early modern political culture aswell as in redrawing the map of literary history.

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From the Publisher

Since its first publication in 1984, Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance has been recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative study of its kind. For this new edition, Norbrook has provided an extensive afterword which gives an overview of developments in methodology andresearch since 1984, responds to some critici...

David Norbrook is Merton Professor of English, University of Oxford.

other books by David Norbrook

The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse: 1509-1659
The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse: 1509-1659

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.76 inPublished:September 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199247196

ISBN - 13:9780199247196

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Revised EditionPreface1. The 'Utopia' and Radical Humanism2. The Reformation and Prophetic Poetry3. 'The Shepheardes Calender': Prophecy and the Court4. Sidney and Political Pastoral5. 'The Faerie Queene' and Elizabethan Politics6. Voluntary Servitude: Fulke Greville and the Arts of Power7. Jonson and the Jacobean Peace, 1603-168. The Spenserians and King James, 1603-169. Crisis and Reaction, 1617-2810. The Politics of Milton's Early PoetryChronological TableIndex

Editorial Reviews

`'valuable insistence on political content . . . Norbrook is far too subtle a critic to imagine that his writers used art merely as a vehicle for political opinions.''Blair Worden, London Review of Books