The history of British political thought has been one of the most fertile fields of Anglo-American historical writing in the last half-century. David Armitage brings together an interdisciplinary and international team of authors to consider the impact of this scholarship on the study of early modern British history, English literature, and political theory. Leading historians survey the impact of the history of political thought on the 'new' histories of Britain and Ireland; eminent literary scholars offer novel critical methods attentive to literary form, genre, and language; and distinguished political theorists treat the relationship of history and theory in studies of rights and privacy. The outstanding examples of critical practice collected here will encourage the emergence of fresh research on the historical, critical, and theoretical study of the English-speaking world in the period around 1500–1800. This volume celebrates the contribution of the Folger Institute to British studies over many years.
• A unique interdisciplinary dialogue between British history, English literature and political theory • Coverage from the late sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century • Brings together an international team of distinguished contributors
Notes on contributors; Introduction David Armitage; 1. The history of British political thought: a field and its futures J. G. A. Pocock, Gordon Schochet and Lois Schwoerer; Part I. British Political Thought and History: 2. Thinking about the new British history John Morrill; 3. The matter of Britain and the contours of British political thought Colin Kidd; 4. The intersections between Irish and British political thought of the early modern centuries Nicholas Canny; 5. In search of a British history of political thought Tim Harris; Part II. British Political Thought and Literature: 6. Republicanism in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Britain Andrew Hadfield; 7. Dramatic traditions and Shakespeare's political thought Jean E. Howard; 8. Irony, disguise and deceit: what literature teaches us about politics Steven Zwicker; 9. Poetry and political thought: liberty and benevolence in the case of the British Empire c. 1680–1800 Karen O'Brien; Part III. British Political Thought and Political Theory: 10. The nature of rights and the history of empire Duncan Ivison; 11. Reading the private in Margaret Cavendish: conversations in political thought Joanne H. Wright; 12. Reflections on political literature: history, theory and the printed book Kirstie M. McClure; 13. Here and now, there and then, everywhere and always: reflections concerning political theorising and the study/writing of the history of political thought Richard E. Flathman; 14. Afterword Quentin Skinner; Bibliography.