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Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England


  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316635612

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About the Authors
  • Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England provides an account of the political thought and culture of Elizabethan and early Stuart England. It examines the centrality of humanist rhetoric in the pre-revolutionary educational system and its vital contribution to the political culture of the period. Humanism, Markku Peltonen argues, was crucial to the development of the participatory character of English politics as schoolboys were taught how to speak about taxation and foreign policy, liberty and tyranny. A series of case studies illustrates how pre-revolutionary Englishmen used the rhetorical tools their schoolmasters had taught them in political and parliamentary debates. The common people and the multitude were the orator's chief audience and eloquence was often seen as a popular art. However, there were also those who followed these developments with growing dismay and Peltonen examines further the ways in which populist elements in political rhetoric were questioned in pre-revolutionary England.

    • A highly original study from one of the world's leading historians of early modern England
    • Relates intellectual and cultural history to political developments
    • Case studies provide analyses of pre-revolutionary parliamentary debates
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It easily achieves its aims of asserting the centrality of rhetoric in prerevolutionary England and redefining exactly what that rhetoric was. But it also adds a new dimension to the debate on the popular political participation and breathes fresh life into the vigorous debate on early seventeenth-century politics. It demonstrates further ways in which those outside the governing elite were engaged in politics and, by establishing how men were educated, creates a foundation for reassessing the complex relationship between ideology, thought, and action with which historians have grappled for so long.' Natalie Mears, Renaissance Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316635612
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Rhetoric, Citizenship and Popularity:
    1. Rhetoric, power and citizenship
    2. Rhetoric and popularity
    3. Rhetoric, news and politics
    4. The adversary politics of rhetoric
    Part II. Rhetoric, Politics and Parliaments:
    5. Rhetoric, politics and the people in the 1570s
    6. Rhetoric, royal marriage and John Stubbe
    7. Rhetoric and Elizabethan parliaments
    8. Rhetoric, the Union and impositions in parliament, 1607–10
    9. Rhetoric and adversary politics in the 1620s
    10. Rhetoric, war and the grievances of the people in parliament, 1625–8
    Epilogue: rhetoric, monarchy and sedition.

  • Author

    Markku Peltonen, University of Helsinki
    Markku Peltonen is Professor of General History (chair founded in 1640) at the University of Helsinki. He has been a member of the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Mellon Fellow at The Huntington Library, San Marino, California and President of the Finnish Historical Society. His publications include Classical Humanism and Republicanism in English Political Thought, 1570–1640 (Cambridge, 1995) and The Duel in Early Modern England: Civility, Politeness and Honour (Cambridge, 2003). He also edited The Cambridge Companion to Bacon (Cambridge, 1996).

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