Times Purpled Masquers: Stars and the Afterlife in Renaissance English Literature by Alastair Fowler

Times Purpled Masquers: Stars and the Afterlife in Renaissance English Literature

byAlastair Fowler

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

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Alastair Fowler's fascinating study explores the extraordinary prominence of astronomical imagery in Renaissance literature. Although the stars were important astrologically, this is at best a partial explanation for the popularity of such imagery, and the impact of astronomical discoveries(particularly their implications for stellification, or translation to the stars) is also an important factor. Seventeenth-century culture was both religious and materialistic and the literature of the period shows a great variety of negotiated reconciliations of the two.

About The Author

Alastair Fowler is a Regius Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and English Literature, University of Edinburgh and Professor of English at University of Virginia.
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Details & Specs

Title:Times Purpled Masquers: Stars and the Afterlife in Renaissance English LiteratureFormat:HardcoverDimensions:180 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198183402

ISBN - 13:9780198183402

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Alastair Fowler's fascinating study describes forgotten Renaissance beliefs about stellification (an afterlife in the stars through transformation into stellar or angelic substance after death), and explores the extraordinary prominence of astronomical imagery in Renaissance literature. The new astronomy of Copernicus and Brahe, far from working against religious beliefs, encouraged hopes of access to the uncorrupted spheres. Seventeenth-century Christians of various persuasions believed in a stellar afterlife. Fowler's many-faceted book traces these ideas in literature, masque, architecture, and the pursuit of fame. Time's Purpled Masquers first characterizes the Renaissance as a period of reform and of theological focus on nature, rather than of desacralization. It goes on to show how astronomical discoveries led to new hopes of access to the uncorrupted translunary spheres. Alastair Fowler then examines evidence for a widespread belief in stellification. Further chapters relate this belief to the long-standing association of posthumous fame with the stars, and

Editorial Reviews

`The primary merit of Time's Purpled Masquers... is its conceptualization - and concise, often illuminating, discussion - of a topic that has either been insufficiently addressed or overlooked entirely in more ambitious studies of early modern science, art and iconography, and literature andcultural history.'Seventeenth-Century News