This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.
versa. To understand a culture, we must uncover its ways of perceiving and
acquiring knowledge, and in doing so, identify what that culture understood
about its ways of perceiving and knowing. This volume of essays is timely,
then, as scholars and critics of earlymodernliterature and culture are turning
their attention from the fashioning of the body to its processes, and what this
study provides is a way of assessing how those processes, in particular sense
perception, affected, mediated and influenced the reception of art, literature
and theatre in this period. In
Culture: EarlyModernLiterature and the Cultural Turn (New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 ), p.
See Dollimore, ‘Art in a Time of War, pp.
42–9; a version of Dollimore’s chapter appears as the
introduction to the third edition of his Radical Tragedy
valued in particular because it has a specific purpose, to teach and to delight.
The figure of the ‘speaking picture’ recognises that the figures and images of poetry
are already metaphorically crossing from language into another realm (and this is, of
course, what metaphor means, ‘to carry across’). For Sidney, both pleasure and moral
content must be present. The teaching invoked here is what Brian Vickers has called
the ethical-rhetorical function of earlymodernliterature, and Sidney recognises that
this lesson is unlikely to be successful if the mode of
like Neto’s spices, the body absorbs the ambergris-based perfume through the
sense of smell. In this chapter, I argue that Herrick’s poetics reveal that all
The senses in context
objects act like fluids when they are seen, tasted, touched, heard or smelled – or,
rather, when they are textualized or poeticized as sensible things.
Critical interest in the senses in earlymodernliterature has increased steadily
in recent years, as evidenced by this collection. Sense experiences are historically specific, and, Susan
with the basic premise of Barkan’s thesis. In studies in this
area earlymodernliterature and drama are frequently described as an
inventive presence stimulated by the absence of images. Lucy Gent claims
that ‘conditions in England where the visual arts were concerned
meant that a poet could all the more easily launch into a realm of
painting which actually existed only in his head’. 14
. Although this indirect satire may thus have been a bit
too direct, the relatively clear interpretive response of its earliest readers
to the Fox makes this an excellent object for analysis of Spenser’s characteristic satirical methods.
Other foxes in Aesopian fables such as Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale,
Reynard the Fox, mid-sixteenth-century anti-Catholic polemic, and
Spenser’s own “Maye” from The Shepheardes Calender illustrate the
two “types” of prosopopoietic foxes in earlymodernliterature—fox as
corrupt courtier and fox as corrupt pastor. Both types of fictional