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Drawing on classical and contemporary medical texts, histories, and cosmographies, Mary Floyd-Wilson demonstrates that the Renaissance understanding of identities contradicted many modern stereotypes concerning racial and ethnic differences. English writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries labored to reinvent ethnology to their own advantage, paving the way for the invention of more familiar racial ideas. Floyd-Wilson highlights these English revisionary efforts in her transformational readings of the period's drama; including Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Jonson's The Masque of Blackness, and Shakespeare's Othello and Cymbeline.Read more
- Provides an entirely new way of understanding how ethnic and racial differences were conceived and perceived in the English Renaissance
- Provides a startling new reading of Shakespeare's Othello
- Argues that medical discourse, or humoralism, was primarily a mode of ethnology in early modern England
Reviews & endorsements
"Making a contribution of the highest interest and importance to the growing field of early modern race studies, this book expands the scope of current inquiry by approaching from a new angle....Floyd-Wilson's complicated, multi-faceted argument challenges us to keep all of its strands in view. Her emphasis on transition makes her interpretive stance dynamic and far-reaching." Renaissance QuarterlySee more reviews
"Mary Floyd-Wilson's study of English ethnicity offers an important contribution to the study of race in the early modern period. Its account of geohumoral ethnology is innovative and fascinating." Seventeenth-Century News
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- Date Published: June 2006
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521027311
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.409kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Introduction: the marginal English
Part I. Climatic Culture: The Transmissions and Transmutations of Ethnographic Knowlege:
1. The ghost of Hippocrates: geohumoral history in the West
2. British ethnology
3. An inside story of race: melancholy and ethnology
Part II. The English Ethnographic Theatre:
4. Tamburlaine and the staging of white barbarity
5. Temperature and temperance in Ben Jonson's The Masque of Blackness
6. Othello's jealousy
7. Cymbeline's angels
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