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Examining the influence of the biblical Psalms on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature, this study explores the imaginative, beautiful and ingenious as well as sometimes ludicrous and improbable ways in which the Psalms were 'translated'. Spanning ancient Israel to Renaissance and Reformation England, the book focuses on literature of major writers that ranges from Shakespeare and Milton to less prominent ones: George Gascoigne, Mary Sidney Herbert, and George Wither.Read more
- Provides a sense of how the Bible was read, interpreted and put to use by its early modern readers
- Establishes the Psalms as one of the foundational texts of the common culture of early modern English
- Offers alternative interpretations of major literary works (Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Herbert's Poems, Pilgrim's Progress)
Reviews & endorsements
"Translations have often proved resistant to close reading, which is why Hamlin's achievment in Part Two of the book is particularly impressive... Hamlin is attempting something more literary than any previous commentator, and he succeeds beautifully in showing that translations can be very original indeed."
The Times Literary SupplementSee more reviews
"Psalm Culture and Early Modern English Literature is clearly and lucidly written."
"This solid and intelligent study will retain its value and inspire further work."
"well researched and readable"
Early Modern Literary Studies
"along with the careful treatment of the translational idiosyncrasies by a wide breadth of authors ranging in renown and gender, Hamlin's monograph does an admirable job of treating both the larger contextual and historical picture as well as the specifics of individual metrical psalm works." - Sara Choi, Boston College
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- Date Published: May 2007
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521037068
- length: 304 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 154 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.464kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 5 music examples
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of figures
Note on the text
Part I. English Metrical Psalmody
1. 'Very mete to be used of all sortes of people': the 'Sternhold and Hopkins' psalter
2. 'Out-Sternholding Sternhold': some rival psalters
3. The Psalms and English poetry I: 'Greece from us these Arts deriv'd': psalms and the English quantitative movement
4. The Psalms and English Poetry II: 'The highest matter in the noblest forme': psalms and the development of English verse
Part II. Case Studies in Psalm Translation:
5. 'Happy me! O happy sheep!': Renaissance pastoral and Psalm 23
6. Psalm 51: sin, sacrifice and the 'Sobbes of a Sorrowfull Soule'
7. Psalm 137: singing the Lord's song in a strange land
Appendix: Psalms 23, 51, and 137 (Coverdale translation)
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