This volume explores the relationship between writing and public concerns in seventeenth-century England before, during, and after the civil wars and revolution of the mid-century. The distinguished contributors represent a variety of disciplines and methodologies. They share, however, an intense concern with the relationship between the act of writing and the political and public issues of this extraordinary period. The essays suggest that significant art, even when apparently "private," was deeply engaged with public issues, while political writing was intimately involved with questions of style and inward conscience.
Introduction Derek Hirst and Richard Strier; 1. 'I am Power': normal and magical politics in The Tempest Richard Strier; 2. 'Void of storie': the struggle for insincerity in Herbert's prose and poetry Stanley Fish; 3. Sir Kenelm Digby's rewritings of his life Jackson I. Cope; 4. Thomas Hobbes and the Renaissance studia humanitatis Quentin Skinner; 5. Casuistry and allegiance in the English Civil War Barbara Donagan; 6. Thomas May and the narrative of civil war J. G. A. Pocock; 7. Samuel Parker, Andrew Marvell and political culture, 1667–73 Derek Hirst; 8. Sidney's Discourses on political imagoes and royalist iconography Victoria Silver; Notes; Index.
"Astute new insights...clearly written, thoughtful, and compelling." Renaissance Quarterly
"It amply justifies the editors' claim that old-fashioned formalistic analysis can still provide a valuable tool of historical research. Jackson Cope provides an interesting analysis of the allegorical autobiography of the courtier Sir Kenelm Digby." H-Net Reviews
"This is a thoroughly rewarding collection..." Sixteenth Century Journal