Spectators, aesthetics and encompletion

This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. It concerns the ideas about 'making and unmaking' that Shakespeare and his contemporaries may have known and formulated, and how these ideas relate to the author's own critical assumptions about early modern aesthetic experience. The study of drama as a part of visual culture offers the perfect context for an exploration of pre-modern aesthetic discourse. The book expounds the author's approach to plays as participants in a lively post-Reformation visual culture in the process of 're-formation'. It then focuses on the social meanings of patronage of the visual arts in a discussion of Paulina as patron of Hermione's image in The Winter's Tale. The discussion of The Winter's Tale pivots around the play's troubling investment in patriarchal notions of 'perfection'. The book also explores image-breaking in Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. This play presents an instance of onstage iconoclasm in the supernatural destruction of a demonic brazen head, a quasi-magical figure that had been depicted in English literature since at least the twelfth century. In focusing on the portrayal of invisibility in The Two Merry Milkmaids, the book explores early modern preoccupation with processes of visual construction in a play in which there is very little artisanal activity.

An anthology

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.

Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance 1 Theocritus Idyll viii Translated anonymously from the Greek From Sixe Idillia ... chosen out of ... Theocritus (1588). This idyll is part of the core Theocritus canon, though scholars have doubted his authorship; some have suggested that the poem amalgamates what were originally separate pieces. The viii. Idillion. Argument Menalcas a Shephearde, and Daphnis a Netehearde, two Sicilian lads, contending who should sing best, pawne their whistles, and choose a Gotehearde, to be their Iudge. Who giueth sentence on Daphnis

in Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance

This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. But what is visual culture, and why use this phrase in place of the ‘fine arts’ or the ‘visual arts’? In part, this choice is motivated by my concern with exploring the plays in their historical contexts. Shakespeare and his contemporaries would not have recognised the phrase ‘fine arts’. Nor would

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama

This book situates witchcraft drama within its cultural and intellectual context, highlighting the centrality of scepticism and belief in witchcraft to the genre. It is argued that these categories are most fruitfully understood not as static and mutually exclusive positions within the debate around witchcraft, but as rhetorical tools used within it. In drama, too, scepticism and belief are vital issues. The psychology of the witch character is characterised by a combination of impious scepticism towards God and credulous belief in the tricks of the witch’s master, the devil. Plays which present plausible depictions of witches typically use scepticism as a support: the witch’s power is subject to important limitations which make it easier to believe. Plays that take witchcraft less seriously present witches with unrestrained power, an excess of belief which ultimately induces scepticism. But scepticism towards witchcraft can become a veneer of rationality concealing other beliefs that pass without sceptical examination. The theatrical representation of witchcraft powerfully demonstrates its uncertain status as a historical and intellectual phenomenon; belief and scepticism in witchcraft drama are always found together, in creative tension with one another.

1764 banned the import of rum, placed a duty on molasses imported from non-English areas and introduced taxes on wines, silks, coffee and other luxury items. A year later, the Stamp Act taxed all newspapers, pamphlets, licenses, leases and other legal documents, a measure which affected anyone who did business. Other initiatives introduced by the British included a ban on credit notes and a requirement that the colonies provide royal troops with provisions and barracks. The British actions had threatened the ability of the colonies to trade freely and, given the

in The United States Congress
South Africa in the post-imperial metropole

chapter6 21/12/04 11:17 am Page 107 6 Transnational productions of Englishness: South Africa in the post-imperial metropole ‘Huge ideological work has to go on every day to produce this mouse that people can recognize as the English.’ Thus observes Stuart Hall, one of the foremost practitioners of black cultural studies in Britain.1 For Hall, the transformation of English national identity began with Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 government. The contemporary production of Englishness became, and continues to be, labour-intensive because England had lost the

in Postcolonial contraventions
A case study in the construction of a myth

The English deist movement 3 The English deist movement: a case study in the construction of a myth The essence of this chapter is that it is not possible to understand the development of the myth of the English deist movement without grasping the politico-religious context of late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century England and the growing role of public opinion and opinion-makers within it. Some preliminary remarks on the major elements of the politico-religious configuration of late Tudor and Stuart England are therefore necessary. Post

in The Enlightenment and religion

R. H. Helmholz 5 Judges and trials in the English ecclesiastical courts R. H. Helmholz I Introduction This chapter examines the nature of trials in the English ecclesiastical courts, paying special attention to the role played by the judges. The sources upon which it is based are: first, the formal rules of procedural law and the commentaries upon them written by the canonists and other jurists of the European ius commune; and second, the act books and other ancillary material from the courts themselves. In accepting the invitation to contribute to this volume

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700

The role of the Congress is essential to any study of American government and politics. It would be impossible to gain a complete understanding of the American system of government without an appreciation of the nature and workings of this essential body. This text looks at the workings of the United States Congress, and uses the Republican period of ascendancy, which lasted from 1994 until 2000, as an example of how the Congress works in practice. The book illustrates the basic principles of Congress using contemporary and recent examples, while also drawing attention to the changes that took place in the 1990s. The period of Republican control is absent from many of the standard texts and is of considerable academic interest for a number of reasons, not least the 1994 election, the budget deadlock in 1995 and the Clinton impeachment scandal of 1999. The book traces the origin and development of the United States Congress, before looking in depth at the role of representatives and senators, the committee system, parties in Congress, and the relationship between Congress and the President, the media and interest groups.