Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England by Kevin SharpeWriting Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England by Kevin Sharpe

Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England

EditorKevin Sharpe, Steven N. Zwicker

Hardcover | March 7, 2008

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Biography appears to thrive as never before; and there clearly remains a broad readership for literary biography. But the methods and approaches of recent criticism which have contributed rich insights and asked new questions about the ways in which we interrogate and appreciate literaturehave scarcely influenced biography. Biography as a form has been largely unaffected by either new critical or historical perspectives. For early-modern scholars the biographical model, fashioned as a stable form in the eighteenth century, has been, in some respects, a distorting lens ontoearly-modern lives. In the Renaissance and early-modern period rather the biography's organic and developmental narratives of a coherent subject, lives were written and represented in a bewildering array of textual sites and generic forms. And such lives were clearly imagined and written not toentertain or even simply to inform, but to edify and instruct, to counsel and polemicize. It is only when we understand how early moderns imagined and narrated lives, only that is through a full return to history and an exact historicizing, that we can newly conceive the meaning of those lives andbegin to rewrite their histories free of the imperatives and teleologies of Enlightenment. In Writing Lives literary scholars, cultural critics, and historians of ideas and visual media, currently engaged both with early modern conceptions of the life and our own conceptualizing of the biographical project, reflect on the problems of writing lives from the various perspectives of theirown research and in the form of case studies informed by new questions.
Kevin Sharpe is professor and Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. The author and editor of twelve books, he has held visiting appointments at Princeton, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology, The Australian National University and the Max Planck Institute for ...
Title:Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern EnglandFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.94 inPublished:March 7, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199217017

ISBN - 13:9780199217014


Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsI. Introducing LivesKevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker: IntroductionII. Lives and Borders1. Stella Tillyard: Biography and Modernity: Some Thoughts on Origins2. Lisa Jardine: An Irregular Life: Not a Biography of Constantijn HuygensII. Literatures and Lives3. Andrew Hadfield: 'Secrets and Lies': The Life of Edmund Spenser4. Thomas N. Corns: The Early Lives of John Milton5. Harold Love: Gossip and Biography6. Steven N. Zwicker: Considering the Ancients: Dryden and the Uses of BiographyIII. Painting Lives7. Alastair Bellany: 'Naught But Illusion'? Buckingham's Painted Selves8. Julia Marciari Alexander: Painting a Life: The Case of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland (1640-1709)IV. Materials and Monarchs9. Paulina Kewes: Two Queens, One Inventory: The Lives of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor10. Leah S. Marcus: Elizabeth on Elizabeth: Underexamined Episodes in an Overexamined Life11. Kevin Sharpe: Whose Life Is It Anyway? Writing Early Modern Monarchs and the 'Life' of James IIV. Spiritual Selves12. Annabel Patterson: 'This girl hath a spirit averse from Calvin': reading the Life, hearing the voice(s)13. Frances Harris: 'Alchemy and Monstrous Love': Sir Robert Moray and the Representation of Early Modern Lives14. Peter Lake: Reading Clarke's iLives/i in Political and Polemical Context15. Andrea Walkden: The Servant and the Grave Robber: Walton's Lives in Restoration EnglandVI. Towards Biography16. Michael McKeon: Biography and FictionList of Contributors