The English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern England by Michelle OCallaghanThe English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern England by Michelle OCallaghan

The English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern England

byMichelle OCallaghan

Paperback | June 24, 2010

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In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries the Inns of Court and fashionable London taverns developed a culture of clubbing, urban sociability and wit. The convivial societies that emerged created rituals to define social identities and to engage in literary play and political discussion. Michelle O'Callaghan argues that the lawyer-wits, including John Hoskyns, in company with authors such as John Donne, Ben Jonson and Thomas Coryate, consciously reinvigorated humanist traditions of learned play. Their experiments with burlesque, banquet literature, parody and satire resulted in a volatile yet creative dialogue between civility and licence, and between pleasure and the violence of scurrilous words. The wits inaugurated a mode of literary fellowship that shaped the history and literature of sociability in the seventeenth century. This study will provide many insights for historians and literary scholars of the period.
Title:The English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern EnglandFormat:PaperbackDimensions:244 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.55 inPublished:June 24, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:052115376X

ISBN - 13:9780521153768

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Table of Contents

Frontispiece; Acknowledgements; Note on the text; Introduction; 1. Gentlemen lawyers at the Inns of Court; 2. Ben Jonson, the lawyers and the wits; 3. Taverns and table talk; 4. Wits in the House of Commons; 5. Coryats Crudities (1611) and the sociability of print; 6. Traveller for the English wits; 7. Afterlives of the wits; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Michelle O'Callaghan provides a strong contribution to making the old new again in her study...her work brilliantly succeeds precisely by making semiforgotten Jacobeans such as Thomas Coryat relevant to a much broader culture of wit."
Catherine Gimelli Martin, University of Memphis, Studies in English Literature