The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-02-07
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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This Handbook offers a comprehensive introduction and thirty-seven new essays by an international team of literary critics and historians on the writings generated by the tumultuous events of mid-seventeenth-century England. Unprecedented events-civil war, regicide, the abolition of monarchy, proscription of episcopacy, constitutional experiment, and finally the return of monarchy-led to an unprecedented outpouring of texts, including new and transformed literary genres andtechniques. The Handbook provides up-to-date scholarship on current issues as well as historical information, textual analysis, and bibliographical tools to help readers understand and appreciate the bold and indeed revolutionary character of writing in mid-seventeenth-century England. The volume isinnovative in its attention to the literary and aesthetic aspects of a wide range of political and religious writing, as well as in its demonstration of how literary texts register the political pressures of their time. Opening with essential contextual chapters on religion, politics, society, and culture, the largely chronological subsequent chapters analyse particular voices, texts, and genres as they respond to revolutionary events. Attention is given to aesthetic qualities, as well as tobold political and religious ideas, in such writers as James Harrington, Marchamont Nedham, Thomas Hobbes, Gerrard Winstanley, John Lilburne, and Abiezer Coppe. At the same time, the revolutionary political context sheds new light on such well-known literary writers as John Milton, Andrew Marvell,Robert Herrick, Henry Vaughan, William Davenant, John Dryden, Lucy Hutchinson, Margaret Cavendish, and John Bunyan. Overall, the volume provides an indispensable guide to the innovative and exciting texts of the English Revolution and reevaluates its long-term cultural impact.

Author Biography

Laura Lunger Knoppers is Liberal Arts Research Professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University. She has published widely on seventeenth-century British literature, visual culture, politics, and religion, particularly on the works of John Milton.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Critical Framework and Issues
England at Home and in the World
England, Europe, and the English Revolution
Three Kingdoms
British Atlantic World
Political Thought
Literature, Medicine, and Science
Licensing, censorship, and the book trade
Society and the Roles of Women
Civil Wars
News, Pamphlets, and Public Opinion
Principle and Politics in Milton s Areopagitica
The Personal Rule of Poets: Cavalier Poetry and the English Revolution
Civil War letters and diaries and the rhetoric of experience
Marvell Among the Cavaliers
The Levellers: John Lilburne, Richard Overton, and William Walwyn
Regicide and Republic
Eikon Basilike: The printing, composition, strategy, and impact of the king s book
Nascent Republican Theory in Milton's Regicide Prose
Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers
Abiezer Coppe and the Ranters
Marchamont Nedham: Polemic, Analysis, Allegiance
The Claims of a Civil Science : Hobbes's Leviathan
Henry Vaughan and Thomas Vaughan: Welsh Anglicanism, Chymick , and the English Revolution
Conversion narratives in Old and New England
Milton s Defences and the Principle of sanior pars
Prophecy and Political Expression in Cromwellian England
Marvell Among the Cromwellians
Countering Anti-theatricality: Davenant and the Drama of the Protectorate
Printed Recipe Books in Medical, Political, and Scientific Contexts
James Harrington s The Commonwealth of Oceana and the Republican Tradition
The Political Ideologies of Revolutionary Prose Romance
Quakers and the Culture of Print in the 1650s
The Early Poetry of John Dryden
Thomas N. Corns
Say first, what causea The Origins of Paradise Lost
Acephalous Authority: Satire in Butler, Marvell, and Dryden
The Consolation of Natural Philosophy: Margaret Cavendish and the English Revolution
Family and Commonwealth in the Writings of Lucy Hutchinson
Out of the spoils won in Battel : John Bunyan
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