Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England
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- Author: Su Fang Ng, University of Oklahoma
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A common literary language linked royal absolutism to radical religion and republicanism in seventeenth-century England. Authors from both sides of the Civil Wars, including Milton, Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, and the Quakers, adapted the analogy between family and state to support radically different visions of political community. They used family metaphors to debate the limits of political authority, rethink gender roles, and imagine community in a period of social and political upheaval. While critical attention has focused on how the common analogy linking father and king, family and state, bolstered royal and paternal claims to authority and obedience, its meaning was in fact intensely contested. In this wide-ranging study, Su Fang Ng analyses the language and metaphors used to describe the relationship between politics and the family in both literary and political writings and offers a fresh perspective on how seventeenth-century literature reflected as well as influenced political thought.Read more
- An innovative study of how political movements adapted metaphors of the family
- Readings of literary texts alongside pamphlets and tracts to show the persistence of the same language
- Covers the seventeenth century from Jacobean times to the Restoration
Reviews & endorsements
"Reading across the boundaries of political affiliation and genre, this book brilliantly elucidates the variable and hotly-contested nature of parallels between family and state in this turbulent period. Literature and the Politics of Family will prove invaluable to scholars of seventeenth-century literature, political culture, and gender politics."
-Catherine Gray, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Renaissance QuarterlySee more reviews
"This book is a significant contribution to the much examined and discussed 'history of the family' in early modern studies of the past forty years. That in itself is an accomplishment."
-Robert A. Erickson, Department of English at University of California
"...Ng’s monograph will be of interest to scholars working in disparate areas of seventeenth-century studies, since it brings together issues and texts from literature, political theory, history, religion, and gender studies."
-SHEILA T. CAVANAGH, EMORY UNIVERSITY
"In sum, this is a strong and ambitious monograph and a serious and considered contribution to renewed interdisciplinary study of the familial analogy."
-Sue Wiseman,Birkbeck College,University of London
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- Date Published: March 2007
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511267253
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Introduction: strange bedfellows: patriarchalism and revolutionary thought
Part I. Revolutionary Debates:
1. Father-Kings and Amazon Queens
2. Milton's band of brothers
3. Hobbes and the absent family
4. Cromwellian fatherhood and its discontents
Part II. Restoration Imaginings: Interchapter: Revolutionary legacies
5. Execrable sons and second Adams: family politics in Paradise Lost
6. Marriage and monarchy: Margaret Cavendish's Blazing World and the fictions of Queenly rule
7. Marriage and discipline in early Quakerism
Epilogue: the family-state analogy's eighteenth-century afterlife.
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