Early modern women writers are typically studied as voices from the margin, who engage in a counter-discourse to patriarchy and whose identities prefigure postmodern notions of fragmented selfhood. Studying a variety of literary forms – autobiographical writings, diaries, mothers’ advice books, poetry and drama – this innovative book approaches early modern women’s strategies of identity formation from an alternative angle: their self-writings should be understood as attempts to establish a coherent, stable and convincing subjectivity in spite of the constraints they encountered. While the authors acknowledge contradiction and ambiguity, they consistently strive to compromise and achieve balance. Drawing on social and cultural history, feminist theory, psychoanalysis and the study of discourses, the close reading of the women’s texts and other, literary and non-literary sources reveals that the female writers seek to reconcile the affective, corporeal, social, economic and ideological dimensions of their identities and thereby question both the modern idea of the unified self and its postmodern, fragmented variant. The women’s identities as writers, mothers, spouses, household members and economic agents testify to their acceptance of contradictions, their adherence to patriarchal norms and simultaneous self-assertion. Their pragmatic stances suggest that their simultaneous confidence and anxiety should be taken seriously, as tentative, precarious, yet ultimately workable and convincing expressions of identity.
Communities have often shaped themselves around cultural spaces set apart and declared sacred. For this purpose, churches, priests or scholars no less than writers frequently participate in giving sacred figures a local habitation and, sometimes, voice or name. But whatever sites, rites, images or narratives have thus been constructed, they also raise some complex questions: how can the sacred be presented and yet guarded, claimed yet concealed, staged in public and at the same time kept exclusive?
Such questions are pursued here in a variety of English texts historically employed to manifest and manage versions of the sacred. But since their performances inhabit social space, this often functions as a theatrical arena which is also used to stage modes of dissent, difference, sacrifice and sacrilege. In this way, all aspects of social life – the family, the nation, the idea of kingship, gender identities, courtly ideals, love making or smoking – may become sacralized and buttress claims for power by recourse to a repertoire of religious symbolic forms.
Through critical readings of central texts and authors – such as
Sir Gawain, Foxe, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, or Vaughan – as well as less canonical examples – the Croxton play, Buchanan, Lanyer, Wroth, or the tobacco pamphlets – the twelve contributions all engage with the crucial question how, and to what end, performances of the sacred affect, or effect, cultural transformation.
This collection of essays presents the multiplicity of dramatic and paradramatic activity that flourished in medieval and early modern England at the parish level. The evidence here adduced is largely from churchwardens' accounts and from the records of the ecclesiastical courts. The book contains ten articles that consider the various money making ventures undertaken by English parishes for the support of the church. The authors study subjects ranging from paradramatic activities such as rushbearing, dancing and bull and bear baiting through more hybrid and problematical events such as the king games and Robin Hood gatherings and plays, to what can be considered 'true' drama with sets, props, texts and actors. All the contributors are editors in the Records of Early English Drama project and bring to their material the insights of scholars working with original material in what are still only partially charted waters.
»Ludus« intends to introduce those interested in literature, in the performing arts, or in history to the various aspects of theatre and drama from the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance. It publishes books on closely defined topics, mostly seen from a comparative point of view.
Contemporary studies of memory focus either on the psychology of remembering, on its archives and media, or on the traditional
ars memoriae. The general cultural framework with its social and material factors is largely neglected, despite the obvious impact on both collective and individual mnemonic mentality. But, as in the first half of the seventeenth century or the later twentieth century, the literary and political invocation of religious, collective or national memory occurs most of all in times of historical rupture, and attendant changes of a radical technological and cultural nature. Appeals to the power of memory are not only indicative of the anxiety about the loss of its binding or absolving character. They are already symptomatic of a deep crisis of cultural memory in itself, resulting from an erosion of firm spatial, temporal and historical references along with an increasing tendency towards reflexivity, which calls the apparently self-evident facts of past and present into question. The continuity of remembering, however, as this study argues, presupposes the permanence and recurrence of social and material relations, of representative or symbolic persons, objects and events, in which it can inscribe itself. But owing to the shift in historical consciousness from (typological) past to progressive future and novelty and under the impress of industrial production and modern media (mobility and communications), the Western subject has to cope constantly with new empirical situations, symbolic values and historical or current information whose origin and evolution – indeed, the very memory of them – remain alien to personal identity and memory. The promise of redemption and salvation, still inherent in seventeenth-century collective memory, loses credibility.
The study includes a wide range of authors from Donne to Pope, Tennyson to George Eliot and Walter Pater, W.B. Yeats to Don DeLillo and covers the whole period from early modern England to postmodernism. It can thus also be read as a brief history of Western memory and its continuing crises.
In this volume an international cast of scholars explores conceptions of the self in the literature and culture of the Early Modern England. Drawing on theories of performativity and performance, some contributors revisit monological speech and the soliloquy - that quintessential solo performance - on the stage of Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson. Other authors move beyond the theatre as they investigate solo performances in different cultural locations, from the public stage of the pillory to the mental stage of the writing self. All contributors analyse corporeality, speech, writing and even silence as interrelated modes of self-enactment, whether they read solo performances as a way of inventing, authorizing or even pathologizing the self, or as a mode of fashioning sovereignty. The contributions trace how the performers appropriate specific discourses, whether religious, medical or political, and how they negotiate hierarchies of gender, rank or cultural difference. The articles cut across a variety of genres including plays and masques, religious tracts, diaries and journals, poems and even signatures. The collection links research on the inward and self-reflexive dimension of solo-performances with studies foregrounding the public and interactive dimension of performative self-fashioning. The articles collected here offer new perspectives on Early Modern subjectivity and will be of interest to all scholars and students of the Early Modern period.
While there is overwhelming evidence that nationalism reached its peak in the later nineteenth century, views about when precisely national thinking and sentiment became strong enough to override all other forms of collective unity differ considerably. When one looks for the historical moment when the concept of the nation became a serious – and subsequently victorious – competitor to the monarchic dynasty as the most effective principle of collective unity, one must, at least for England, go back as far as the sixteenth century. The decisive change occurred when a split between the dynastic ruler and “England” could be widely conceived of and intensely felt, a split that established the nation as an autonomous – and more precious – body. Whereas such a differentiation between king and country was still imperceptible under Henry VIII, it was already an historical reality during the reign of Queen Mary.
That the most important factors in this radical change were the Reformation and the printing press is by now well known. The particular aim of this volume is to demonstrate the pivotal role of pamphleteering – and the growing importance of public opinion in a steadily widening sense – within the process of the historical emergence of the concept of the nation as a culturally and politically guiding force. When it came to the voicing of dissident opinions, above all under Queen Mary and later during the reign of King James and Charles I, the printed pamphlet proved to be a far superior form of communication.
This does not mean that books played no role in the early development and dissemination of the concept of an English nation. Especially the compendious new English histories written at the time did much to support the growth of cultural identity.
Early modern kings adopted a new style of government,
Realpolitik, as spelled out in Machiavelli’s writings. Tudor monarchs, well aware of their questionable right to the throne, posed as great dissimulators, similarly to the modern prince who “must learn from the fox and the lion”. This book paints a portrait of a successful politician according to early modern standards. Kingship is no longer understood as a divinely ordained institution, but is defined as goal-oriented policy-making, relying on conscious acting and the theatrical display of power. The volume offers an intriguing discussion on kingship in pragmatic terms, as the strategic face-saving behaviour of Shakespeare’s kings. It also demonstrates how an efficient or inefficient management of the king’s political face could decide his success or failure as a monarch, and how the Renaissance world of Shakespeare’s history plays is combined with modern theories of communication, politeness and face.
This volume reconceptualizes amphibious warfare and also fills an important gap in its historiography, examining how it was conceived, practised and employed, from the Crusades, through the first wave of European exploration and colonization, the Price Revolution and the European wars of religion, up to the early Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of a new wave of imperialism. Essays examine issues related to strategy, operational art, tactics, logistics and military technology, but also consider commerce and culture. They reveal that amphibious warfare was often waged for economic reasons and was the quintessential warfare of European imperialism, for sea power was required to deliver and sustain land power. The volume is lavishly illustrated with 30 plates and twelve maps.
Contributors: Matthew Bennett; Louis Sicking; Malyn Newitt; Jan Glete; John F. Guilmartin; R. B. Wernham; Mark Charles Fissel; Guy Rowlands; John Stapleton; David J.B. Trim.
Medical ethics has been a constant adjunct of Western medicine from its origins in Greek times. Although the
Hippocratic Oath has been intensely studied, until recently there has been very little historical work on medical ethics between the
Oath and Thomas Percival's
Medical Ethics of 1803, which is commonly thought of as the first treatise on modern medical ethics. This volume brings together original research which throws new light on how standards of behaviour for medical practitioners were articulated in the different religious, political and social as well as medical contexts from the classical period until the nineteenth century. Its ten essays will place the early history of medical ethics into the framework of the new social and intellectual history of medicine that has been developed in the last ten years.