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Renaissance and Reformations: An Introduction to Early Modern English Literature

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0045-8
264 pages
February 2007, ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Renaissance and Reformations: An Introduction to Early Modern English Literature (1405100451) cover image
This volume offers a description of early modern habits of writing and reading, of publication and stage performance, and of political and religious writing.
  • An introduction to early modern English literature for students and general readers.
  • Considers the ways in which early modern writers construct the past, recover and adapt classical genres, write about people and places, and tackle religious and secular controversies.
  • Illustrated with a profusion of excerpts from early modern texts.
  • Writers represented include More, Erasmus, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton, as well as less well known authors.
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    List of Illustrations.

    Acknowledgements.

    Introduction: New Worlds of Words.

    1. Writing.

    2. Reading, Publication, Performance.

    3. Forms Ancient and Modern.

    4. Defining the Past.

    5. Designing the Present.

    6. Fictive Persons and Places.

    7. Godliness.

    Notes.

    Bibliography.

    Index.
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    Michael Hattaway is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Elizabethan Popular Theatre (1982) and Hamlet: The Critics Debate (1987), the editor of As You Like It and Henry VI Parts I–III for the New Cambridge Shakespeare, and also of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture (2000), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays (2002), and plays by Jonson and Beaumont.
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    • An introduction to early modern English literature for students and general readers.

    • Offers a description of early modern habits of writing and reading, of publication and stage performance.

    • Considers the ways in which early modern writers construct the past, recover and adapt classical genres, write about people and places, and tackle religious and secular controversies.

    • Illustrated with a profusion of excerpts from early modern texts.

    • Writers represented include More, Erasmus, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton, as well as less well known authors.
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    "A wonderful, bracing guide to Early Modern literature and culture. I admire Hattaway's deftness and skill at marking out the boundaries and illuminating what would otherwise lurk in the darkness." Stephen Greenblatt

    "A cliché-free zone, a most refreshing read for students as well as teachers." Sederi

    "Renaissance and Reformations is an extraordinary achievement: Michael Hattaway's compact study of Early Modern literature belies an astonishing command of the conditions of thought and writing that produced it and does so with an unusual citation of all forms and genres, major and minor and newly-discovered texts. As a result, he is able to take us into the imaginative processes of the time to show us the sheer pleasures these works held as no other study has done." Arthur F. Kinney, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    “Sharp insights and fresh examples fill Michael Hattaway's welcome book. He enlightens new readers and those who thought they knew 'that foreign country, early modern England' - its high, low, middling culture, its performances and rulers and ruled. All become understandable and beguilingly strange in Hattaway's volume. He admirably 'asks "how" questions not "what" questions' and invites readers to think through ideas, texts, techniques, images, historical moments so they all become the reader's own.” A. R. Braunmuller, University of California, Los Angeles

    “Put this on your reading-lists.”
    Roger Pooley, Keele University

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