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A Short History of Early Modern England: British Literature in Context

ISBN: 978-1-4443-9499-3
268 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Short History of Early Modern England: British Literature in Context (1444394991) cover image


A Short History of Early Modern England presents the historical and cultural information necessary for a richer understanding of English Renaissance literature.
  • Written in a clear and accessible style for an undergraduate level audience
  • Gives an overview of the period’s history as well as an understanding of the historiographic issues
  • Explores key historical and literary events, from the Wars of the Roses to the publication of John Milton’s Paradise Regained
  • Features in depth explanations of key terms and concepts, such as absolutism and the Elizabethan Settlement
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Table of Contents

Aims and Acknowledgements vi

Quoting from Early Modern Texts ix

Illustrations x

England’s Rulers From Richard II to Charles II xi

Timeline of Key Events xii

1 An Overview of Early Modern England 1

2 The Back-Story of the Tudor Dynasty: From Richard II to Henry VII 27

3 Henry VII, Henry VIII, and the Henrician Era (1509–47) 59

4 Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, and Mary I (1547–53) 92

5 The Elizabethan Era (1558–1603) 115

6 The Reign of King James VI/I (1603–25) 149

7 Charles I (1625–42): From Accession to the Beginning of the Civil Wars 181

8 The Civil Wars, the Commonwealth, and the Early

Restoration (1642–71) 214

Index 252

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Author Information

Peter C. Herman is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State University, USA. His previous books include Royal Poetrie: Monarchic Verse and the Political Imaginary of Early Modern England (2010) and Destabilizing Milton: “Paradise Lost” and the Poetics of Incertitude(2008). His essays have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, SEL, and Criticism.
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"Here is much more of both information and entertainment than one expects from a "short history"! Summing Up: Highly recommended." (Choice, 1 October 2011)



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