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Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century England


  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521009157

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About the Authors
  • Hundreds of writers in the English-speaking world of the seventeenth-century imagined alternative ideal societies. Sometimes they did so by exploring fanciful territories, such as the world in the moon or the nations of the Antipodes; but sometimes they composed serious disquisitions about the here and now, proposing how England or its nascent colonies could be conceived of as an 'Oceana,' or a New Jerusalem. This book provides a comprehensive view of the operations of the utopian imagination in literature from 1603 to the 1660s. Appealing to social theorists, literary critics, and political and cultural historians, this volume revises prevailing notions of the languages of hope and social dreaming in the making of British modernity during a century of political and intellectual upheaval.

    • A vivid and compelling discussion of the utopian imagination in seventeenth-century England
    • Offers an important reassessment of the role of the utopian imagination in early modern history
    • Provides key thoughts on the relation between literature and politics in early modern England
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… thoughtful and scholarly study … Breadth of texts distinguishes Appelbaum's work from earlier scholars of utopia …'. Literature & History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521009157
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The look of power
    2. Utopian experimentalism, 1620–38
    3. 'Reformation' and 'desolation': the new horizons of the 1640s
    4. Out of the 'true nothing', 1649–53
    5. From constitutionalism to aestheticization, 1654–70

  • Author

    Robert Appelbaum, University of San Diego

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