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Archaic Style in English Literature, 1590–1674

$29.99 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107649842

$ 29.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Ranging from the works of Shakespeare, Spenser, Jonson and Milton to those of Robert Southwell and Anna Trapnel, this groundbreaking study explores the conscious use of archaic style by the poets and dramatists between 1590 and 1674. It focuses on the wide-ranging, complex and self-conscious uses of archaic linguistic and poetic style, analysing the uses to which writers put literary style in order to re-embody and reshape the past. Munro brings together scholarly conversations on temporality, memory and historiography, on the relationships between medieval and early modern literary cultures, on the workings of dramatic and poetic style, and on national history and identity. Neither pure anachronism nor pure nostalgia, the attempts of writers to reconstruct outmoded styles within their own works reveal a largely untold story about the workings of literary influence and tradition, the interactions between past and present, and the uncertain contours of English nationhood.

    • Presents a new model for conceptualizing writers' interactions with the past, appealing to literary scholars and cultural historians interested in time and temporality, nostalgia, memory and historiography
    • Advances the study of the relationship between medieval and early modern literary cultures, especially in its contribution to the study of the recovery of Old English as a literary phenomenon
    • Provides new approaches to major authors such as Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton and Jonson, placing them in fresh contexts, and contributes to the study of the afterlives of Chaucer and Gower
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107649842
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: conceptualising archaism
    1. Within our own memory: Old English and the early modern poet
    2. Chaucer, Gower and the anxiety of obsolescence
    3. Archaic style in religious writing: immutability, controversy, prophecy
    4. Staging generations: archaism and the theatrical past
    5. Shepherds' speech: archaism and early Stuart pastoral drama
    6. Archaism and the 'English' epic
    Coda: looking backward, looking forward.

  • Author

    Lucy Munro, King's College London
    Lucy Munro is a lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama Studies at King's College London. Her research focuses on the performance and reception of Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline drama, on editing, book history and textual scholarship, on literary style and genre, and on dramatic representations of childhood and ageing. She is the author of Children of the Queen's Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory (Cambridge, 2005) and editor of Edward Sharpham's The Fleer (2006), Shakespeare and George Wilkins' Pericles, in William Shakespeare: Complete Works (ed. Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, 2007), Richard Brome's The Queen and Concubine and The Demoiselle, in Richard Brome Online (gen. ed. Richard Allen Cave, 2009), and John Fletcher's The Tamer Tamed (2010). Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Huntington Library Quarterly, Modern Philology, Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare and Ageing and Society, and in collections such as The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre (ed. Richard Dutton, 2009), Performing Early Modern Drama Today (ed. Kathryn Prince and Pascale Aebischer, Cambridge, 2012) and The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England (ed. Andy Kesson and Emma Smith, 2013). Her stage history of The Alchemist appears in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, electronic edition (gen. ed. David Bevington, Martin Butler and Ian Donaldson, Cambridge, 2014).

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