The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-06-21
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare presents a broad sampling of current historical scholarship on the period of Shakespeare's career that will assist and stimulate scholars of his poems and plays. Rather than merely attempting to summarize the historical 'background' to Shakespeare, individual chapters seek to exemplify a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies currently used in historical research on the early modern period that can inform close analysis of literature. Different sections examine political history at both the national and local levels; relationships between intellectual culture and the early modern political imagination; relevant aspects of religious and social history; and facets of the histories of architecture, the visual arts, and music. Topics treated include the emergence of an early modern 'public sphere' and its relationship to drama during Shakespeare's lifetime; the role of historical narratives in shaping the period's views on the workings of politics; attitudes about the role of emotion in social life; cultures of honour and shame and the rituals and literary forms through which they found expression; crime and murder; and visual expressions of ideas of moral disorder and natural monstrosity, in printed images as well as garden architecture.

Author Biography

R. Malcolm Smuts, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has had a lifelong interest in interdisciplinary scholarship on early modern Britain and Europe. His publications include Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in England, Culture and Power in England 1585-1685, and several edited collections and articles on aspects of political and cultural history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Frontiers, Malcolm Smuts
Part I: Politics
William Cecil Lord Burghley and the Management of Elizabeth's England, Norman Jones
The Earl of Essex, Paul Hammer
Robert Cecil and the Transition from Elizabeth to James I, Pauline Croft
James I and the Consolidation of British Monarchy?, Malcolm Smuts
War, Soldiers and High Politics under Elizabeth I, David Trim
Shakespeare, the Irish and Military Culture, Rory Rapple
Catholicism and Tyranny in Shakespeare's Warwickshire, Glyn Parry
Ancient Liberties, Royal Honour and the Politics of Commonweal in English Forests, Dan Beaver
Part II: Intellectual Culture and Political Thought and Imagination
Poets, Patronage and the Prince's Court, Tim Wilks
The Theatre and the 'Post-Reformation Public Sphere', Peter Lake
Rhetorical Training and the Elizabethan Grammar School, Peter Mack
English Vernacular Historical Writing and Holinshed's Chronicles, Daniel Woolf and Jane Wong Yeang Chui
European Historiography in English Political Culture, Nicholas Popper
Roman History, Essex and Late Elizabethan Political Culture, Paulina Kewes
Other Republicanisms, Debora Shuger
The Gordian Knot of Policy: Statecraft and the Prudent Prince, Alexandra Gajda
Seneca and English Political Culture, Curtis Perry
David Hume, Richard Verstegan and the Battle for Britain, Arthur Williamson
The Politics of Race in England, Scotland and Ireland, Brendan Kane and Malcolm Smuts
Part III: Aspects of Religious Culture
English Catholics and the Continent, Katy Gibbons
The Bible in English Culture: The Age of Shakespeare, Naomi Tadmor
Religious Nonconformity and the Quality of Mercy: The Merchant of Venice in Reformation Context, Ethan Shagan
Protestantism and the Devil, Tom Webster
Part IV: Social Beliefs and Practices
The Affective Life in Shakespearean England, Linda Pollock
Chivalry and the English Gentleman, Richard Cust
Elizabethan Verse Libel, Alan Bryson
Gender, Writing Technologies and Early Modern Epistolary Communications, James Daybell
The Shamings of Falstaff, Brian Weiser
Cuckold's Haven: Gender Inversion in Popular Culture, Susan D. Amussen
Murder's Crimson Badge': Homicide in the Age of Shakespeare, K. J. Kesselring
Thinking with Poison, Alastair Bellany
Criminal London: Fear and Danger in Shakespeare's City, Paul Griffiths
Families and Households in Early Modern London, Vanessa Harding
Theatre, Church and Neighbourhood in Early Modern Blackfriars, Christopher Highley
The Cultural Geography of St Paul's Precinct, Roze Hentschell
Part V: Visual Culture and Music
Art and Architecture in Provincial England, Robert Tittler
Garden Design and Experience in Shakespeare's England, Luke Morgan
Art Collecting and Patronage in Shakespeare's England, Elizabeth Goldring
Graphic Satire and the Printed Image in Shakespeare's England, Helen Pierce
Music and the Stage in the Time of Shakespeare, Ross Duffin

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