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The Performance of Nobility in Early Modern European Literature

£41.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034876

£ 41.99
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About the Authors
  • This valuable study illuminates the idea of nobility as display, as public performance, in Renaissance and seventeenth-century literature and society. Ranging widely from Castiglione and French courtesy manuals, through Montaigne and Bacon, to the literature of the Grand Siècle, David Posner examines the structures of public identity in the period. He focuses on the developing tensions between, on the one hand, literary or imaginative representations of 'nobility' and, on the other, the increasingly problematic historical position of the nobility themselves. These tensions produce a transformation in the notion of the noble self as a performance, and eventually doom court society and its theatrical mode of self-presentation. Situated at the intersection of rhetorical and historical theories of interpretation, this book contributes significantly to our understanding of the role of literature both in analysing and in shaping social identity.

    • Crosses the boundaries of literature, history and intellectual history
    • Comparative study embracing writers in England, Italy, France, and across two centuries
    • Not wedded to a particular theory or ideology, and free of jargon
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034876
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.435kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    1. Introduction: 'The Noble Hart'
    2. Montaigne and the staging of the self
    3. Mask and error in Francis Bacon
    4. Noble Romans: Corneille and the theatre of aristocratic revolt
    5. La Bruyère and the end of the theatre of nobility
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    David M. Posner, Loyola University, Chicago

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