This book attempts to interrogate the literary, artistic and cultural output of early modern England. Following Constance Classen's view that understandings of the senses, and sensory experience itself, are culturally and historically contingent; it explores the culturally specific role of the senses in textual and aesthetic encounters in England. The book follows Joachim-Ernst Berendt's call for 'a democracy of the senses' in preference to the various sensory hierarchies that have often shaped theory and criticism. It argues that the playhouse itself challenged its audiences' reliance on the evidence of their own eyes, teaching early modern playgoers how to see and how to interpret the validity of the visual. The book offers an essay on each of the five senses, beginning and ending with two senses, taste and smell, that are often overlooked in studies of early modern culture. It investigates Robert Herrick's accounts in Hesperides of how the senses function during sexual pleasure and contact. The book also explores sensory experiences, interrogating textual accounts of the senses at night in writings from the English Renaissance. It offers a picture of early modern thought in which sensory encounters are unstable, suggesting ways in which the senses are influenced by the contexts in which they are experienced: at night, in states of sexual excitement, or even when melancholic. The book looks at the works of art themselves and considers the significance of the senses for early modern subjects attending a play, regarding a painting, and reading a printed volume.

Natalie K. Eschenbaum

. Herrick, however, does imagine all five senses to enable ‘physical invasion of the body’. In ‘The Argument of his Book’, he provides a partial table of contents for Hesperides (1648), his collection of over 1400 poems. The things emphasized at the midpoint of the verse catalogue are liquids and sensual objects: ‘I sing of Dewes, of Raines, and piece by piece | Of Balme, of Oyle, of Spice, and Amber-Greece’ (ll. 7–8).3 Throughout Hesperides, Herrick sings of things that enliven the senses, and he describes sensation as a process of absorption or consumption. For instance

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Open Access (free)
Simon Smith
Jackie Watson
, and
Amy Kenny

conjunction of aesthetic detail and utilitarian value in such objects as she examines how a synaesthetic approach to the history of olfaction might contribute to sensory history. The second section explores early modern artistic accounts of the senses collectively, in three particular contexts. Natalie Eschenbaum’s essay ­investigates Robert Herrick’s accounts in Hesperides (1648) of how the senses function during sexual pleasure and contact. Eschenbaum argues that Herrick’s fluid depictions of sensation respond (in a small way) to the tradition of poetic sensoria and (in a

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Divine destruction in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
Chloe Porter

gold, Whereon the fearful dragon held his seat, That watch’d the garden call’d Hesperides. Subdued and won by conquering Hercules. (ix.79–83SD) The spectacle that Bungay conjures shows the eleventh task of Hercules, in which this mythical figure was required to pick apples from the garden of Hesperides. Greene’s play is here once

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
Sukanta Chaudhuri

Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance contains the text of the poems with brief headnotes giving date, source and other basic information, and footnotes with full annotation.

in Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance