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The Limits of Eroticism in Post-Petrarchan Narrative
Conditional Pleasure from Spenser to Marvell


Part of Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034692

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About the Authors
  • Although theories of exploitation and subversion have radically changed our understanding of gender in Renaissance literature, to favour only those theories is to risk ignoring productive exchanges between 'masculine' and 'feminine' in Renaissance culture. 'Appropriation' is too simple a term to describe these exchanges - as when Petrarchan lovers flirt dangerously with potentially destructive femininity. Spenser revises this Petrarchan phenomenon, constructing flirtations whose participants are figures of speech, readers or narrative voices. His plots allow such exchanges to occur only through conditional speech, but this very conditionality powerfully shapes his work. Seventeenth-century works - including a comedy by Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley, and Upon Appleton House by Andrew Marvell - suggest that the civil war and the upsurge of female writers necessitated a reformulation of conditional erotics.

    • Exciting readings of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry and prose
    • Illuminating theories of post-Petrarchan eroticism
    • Revealing insights into gender relations in Renaissance England
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034692
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.394kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Spenser:
    1. Into other arms: Amoret's evasion
    2. 'Newes of devils': feminine sprights in masculine minds
    3. Monstrous intimacy and arrested developments
    4. Narrative flirtations
    Part II. Seventeenth-Century Refigurations:
    5. 'Who can those vast imaginations feed?': The Concealed Fancies and the price of hunger
    6. Caught in the act at Nun Appleton
    Works cited

  • Author

    Dorothy Stephens, University of Arkansas

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