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The Poetics of Conversion in Early Modern English Literature
Verse and Change from Donne to Dryden

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107402829

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Christians in post-Reformation England inhabited a culture of conversion. Required to choose among rival forms of worship, many would cross - and often recross - the boundary between Protestantism and Catholicism. This study considers the poetry written by such converts, from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of James II, concentrating on four figures: John Donne, William Alabaster, Richard Crashaw, and John Dryden. Murray offers a context for each poet's conversion within the era's polemical and controversial literature. She also elaborates on the formal features of the poems themselves, demonstrating how the language of poetry could express both spiritual and ecclesiastical change with particular vividness and power. Proposing conversion as a catalyst for some of the most innovative devotional poetry of the period, both canonical and uncanonical, this study will be of interest to all specialists in early modern English literature.

    • Includes readings on canonical poems, providing the reader with a fresh perspective on these texts
    • Introduces the reader to unfamiliar early modern literary figures and therefore provides a comprehensive account of this subject matter
    • Offers extensive contextual material to create a foundation for the arguments raised
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107402829
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: towards a poetics of conversion
    1. William Alabaster's lyric turn
    2. John Donne and the language of de-nomination
    3. Richard Crashaw and the gender of conversion
    4. Versing and reversing in the poetry of John Dryden
    Afterword: Eliot's inheritance and criticism of conversion

  • Author

    Molly Murray, Columbia University, New York

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