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Monuments and Literary Posterity in Early Modern Drama


  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107558908

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About the Authors
  • In spite of the ephemeral nature of performed drama, playwrights such as Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, Fletcher, and Shakespeare were deeply interested in the endurance of their theatrical work and in their own literary immortality. This book re-evaluates the relationship between these early modern dramatists and literary posterity by considering their work within the context of post-Reformation memorialization. Providing fresh analyses of plays by major dramatists, Brian Chalk considers how they depicted monuments and other funeral properties on stage in order to exploit and criticize the rich ambiguities of commemorative rituals. The book also discusses the print history of the plays featured. The subject will attract scholars and upper-level students of Renaissance drama, memory studies, early modern theatre, and print history.

    • Provides a new, dynamic model for understanding the relationship between early modern dramatists and literary posterity
    • Offers fresh readings of plays from both central and more marginal early modern dramatists
    • Establishes the historical and cultural context that distinguished early modern England
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is at once an admirable study of the paradoxes of memorialization in several important Renaissance dramatic texts, and a significant intervention in the contemporary critical conversation.' Clara Calvo, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107558908
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: 'raptures of futurity'
    1. 'Let all things end': Marlowe's immortality
    2. Jonson's textual monument
    3. Webster's 'worthyest monument': the problem of posterity in The Duchess of Malfi
    4. 'Mocking life': preemptive commemoration in The Winter's Tale
    5. Fletcher's future: dynasty and collaborative posterity in Henry VIII
    Coda: what they hath left us
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Brian Chalk, Manhattan College, New York
    Brian Chalk is Assistant Professor of English at Manhattan College, New York. He has published essays on early modern drama and culture in journals including Studies in Philology and Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900.

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