The Face of Mammon: The Matter of Money in English Renaissance Literature

Hardcover | April 12, 2012

byDavid Landreth

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The Face of Mammon studies the gold and silver coins of sixteenth-century England as they are articulated in literary writing. Landreth argues that the coinage of the sixteenth century is a very different object from the money that we know - not only formally but conceptually, in that modernmoney is the object proper to a discourse, economics, that had not yet taken shape in the sixteenth century. Instead, a Renaissance coin is an arena contested among multiple early modern discourses that each seek to encompass it, such as ontology, ethics, and politics. The writers central to thisstudy - among them Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Nashe, and Donne - use the coin to demonstrate the interdependence of these competing discourses as they converge upon a single, ubiquitous object. For these authors, an understanding of the world that humans make for themselves relies uponunderstanding how the material world is made. The small circumference of the coin brings these contending worlds into contact.

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The Face of Mammon studies the gold and silver coins of sixteenth-century England as they are articulated in literary writing. Landreth argues that the coinage of the sixteenth century is a very different object from the money that we know - not only formally but conceptually, in that modernmoney is the object proper to a discourse, e...

David Landreth is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 12, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199773297

ISBN - 13:9780199773299

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Mammon in the Tudor Common Wealth1. At Home with Mammon: Matter, Money, and Memory in The Faerie Queene and The Jew of Malta2. Monetary Policy in King John and Measure for Measure3. Dismembering the Ducat in The Merchant of Venice4. Wit without Money in Donne and NasheAfterword: Before EconomyAppendix: Tudor monetary unitsWorks citedIndex