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The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain

The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain
History, Rhetoric, and Fiction, 1500–1800

$52.00 (C)

Part of Woodrow Wilson Center Press

Donald Kelley, David Hams Sacks, J. H. M. Salmon, Patrick Collinson, Joseph Levine, Daniel Woolf, Richard Helgerson, Annabel Patterson, David Wooton, Fritz Levy, Patricia Springborg, Mark Philips, J. Paul Hunter, Patricia Craddock, Rebecca Bushnell
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  • Date Published: August 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521521239

$ 52.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • These essays by some of the most distinguished historians and literary scholars in the English-speaking world explore the overlap, interplay, and interaction between supposedly truthful history and fact-based fiction in British writing from the Tudor period to the Enlightenment. Despite the many theoretical questions posed, the discussions primarily focus on concrete works, including those of Thomas More, John Foxe, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon.

    • Important, imaginative and highly insightful work by some of the top scholars of early modern British history and literature
    • Interdisciplinary - historians and literary scholars address common themes, central questions, and practices shared by the two disciplines
    • Relevance and popularity of problems of truth/fiction, imagination/ memory (or reason) in many fields, role of rhetoric
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The essays in The Historical Imagination in every instance bring to light elements of authorship that are worth pondering. Inherited notions are successfully challenged....the remarkable thing about the inception of this project: the singular good sense of bringing together a group of eminent writers to reassess criteria and conventions, particularly of historical authority, in a time of historiographical revolution. The editors are to be commended." William Rockett, 16th Century Jrnl

    "In this intelligent, engaging, and timely essay collection from the disciplines of both history and English, editors Donald R. Kelley and David Harris Sacks have compiled compelling pictures of the various relationships that exist between the fields of history and fiction in early modern Britain. In its detailed attention to the various representations of truth within imaginative writing, the collection represents a significant addition to the ever-growing study of early modern British culture, one that should be of great aid to scholars in the field and their students for some time." Gregory J. Underwood, History

    "...this collection contains much that is new and even surprising, which makes it a welcome addition to the literature on the early modern historical imagination." Timothy Lang, American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521521239
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 239 x 155 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Donald Kelley and David Harris Sacks
    2. Example and truth: Deggory Wheare and the ars historica J. H. M. Salmon
    3. Truth, lies and fiction in sixteenth-century Protestant historiography Patrick Collinson
    4. Thomas More and the English Renaissance: history and fiction in Utopia Joseph Levine
    5. Ancestral and antiquarian: Little Crosby and early modern historical culture Daniel Woolf
    6. Murder in Faversham: Holinshed's impertinent history Richard Helgerson
    7. Foul, his Wife, the Mayor, and Foul's Mare: anecdote in Tudor historiography Annabel Patterson
    8. Thomas Hobbes' Machiavellian moments David Wooton
    9. The background of Hobbes' Behemoth Fritz Levy
    10. Leviathan, mythic history, and natural historiography Patricia Springborg
    11. Adam Smith and the history of private life Mark Phillips
    12. Protesting fiction, constructing history Paul Hunter
    13. Contemplative heroes and Gibbon's historical imagination Patricia Craddock
    14. Experience, truth, and natural history in early English gardening books Rebecca Bushnell.

  • Editors

    Donald R. Kelley, Rutgers University, New Jersey

    David Harris Sacks, Reed College, Oregon


    Donald Kelley, David Hams Sacks, J. H. M. Salmon, Patrick Collinson, Joseph Levine, Daniel Woolf, Richard Helgerson, Annabel Patterson, David Wooton, Fritz Levy, Patricia Springborg, Mark Philips, J. Paul Hunter, Patricia Craddock, Rebecca Bushnell

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