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1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9391-7
270 pages
February 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England (1405193913) cover image
1611: Authority, Gender, and the Word in Early Modern England explores issues of authority, gender, and language within and across the variety of literary works produced in one of most landmark years in literary and cultural history.

  • Represents an exploration of a year in the textual life of early modern England
  • Juxtaposes the variety and range of texts that were published, performed,   read, or heard in the same year, 1611
  • Offers an account of the textual culture of the year 1611, the environment of language, and the ideas from which the Authorised Version of the English Bible emerged

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Preface ix

Acknowledgements x

List of Illustrations xii

Chronology of Selected Historical, Cultural and Textual Events in 1611 xiii

Introduction: 'The omnipotency of the word' 1

1 Jonson's Oberon and friends: masque and music in 1611 24

2 Aemilia Lanyer and the 'fi rst fruits' of women's wit 44

3 Coryats Crudities and the 'travelling Wonder' of the age 68

4 Time, tyrants and the question of authority: The Winter's Tale and related drama 91

5 'Expresse words': Lancelot Andrewes and the sermons and devotions of 1611 112

6 The Roaring Girl on and off stage 132

7 'The new world of words': authorising translation in 1611 151

8 Donne's 'Anatomy' and the commemoration of women: 'her death hath taught us dearly' 174

9 Vengeance and virtue: The Tempest and the triumph of tragicomedy 192

Conclusion: 'This scribling age' 211

Appendix: A List of Printed Texts Published in 1611 219

Bibliography 225

Index 244

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Helen Wilcox is Professor of English at Bangor University, Wales, and Director of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Universities of Aberystwyth and Bangor. Her most recent major publication was the highly-acclaimed annotated edition of The English Poems of George Herbert (2007).
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“In 1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England, Helen Wilcox transports us back to the rich textual history of a single year in Jacobean England,  where she proves to be the most amiable and knowledgeable of guides.   Side by side, elite works next to popular, the year unfolds with all the curious excitement of an elegantly presented almanac.  Whether your preference is for The King James Bible or Dekker and Middleton’s The Roaring Girl, Coryates Crudities or The Winter’s Tale, this is a splendid slice-of-life introduction to early modern England that will please new readers and specialists alike.”
Jonathan F.S. Post, University of California, Los Angeles

“Fascinating, elegant, and eminently readable, 1611 is a treasure trove of information and critical insight.  Wilcox displays great range, writing as smartly about Shakespeare as about Lanyer, about secular as about devotional works.  She makes juxtapositions and connections among texts that are unexpected and illuminating.”
Achsah Guibbory, Barnard College

“Conventionally, our knowledge of texts is filtered through canon formations, critical traditions, and political agendas, producing predictable selectivities, but different perspectives can be gained by the radically simple method Helen Wilcox adopts, of assembling the texts, connections and priorities of a key moment in the past.  1611 offers the student the chance to share a journey of discovery of a single year.”
Cedric Brown, Professor Emeritus, University of Reading

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