This book examines the satirical poetry of Edmund Spenser and argues for his importance as a model and influence for younger poets writing satires in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The book focuses on reading satirical texts of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in relation to one another, with specific attention to the role that Edmund Spenser plays in that literary subsystem. The book connects key Spenserian texts in The Shepheardes Calender and the Complaints volume with poems by a range of authors in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including Joseph Hall, Thomas Nashe, Tailboys Dymoke, Thomas Middleton, and George Wither to advance the thesis that Spenser was seen by his contemporaries as highly relevant to satire in Elizabethan England. For scholars of satire, the book offers a fuller discussion and theorization of the type of satire that Spenser wrote, “indirect satire,” than has been provided elsewhere. A theory of indirect satire benefits not just Spenser studies, but satire studies as well. For scholars of English Renaissance satire in particular, who have tended to focus on the formal verse satires of the 1590s to the exclusion of attention to more indirect forms such as Spenser’s, this book is a corrective, an invitation to recognize the importance of a style of satire that has received little attention.
The writers, the artificers and the livery companies
] Taylors’ and their
‘laureate’. With three Shows for this Company Munday, in fact, had a
better claim to such a status.
See Hill, Anthony Munday, pp. 81–91.
Middleton, ed. Bald, Honourable Entertainments, p. vi.
Heinemann, Puritanism and Theatre, p. 126. I think she overstates the
case that Middleton was ‘a protégé of Parliamentary Puritans among
the City oligarchs’, however (ibid.); Taylor disputes her views too,
arguing that Middleton is more accurately seen as a Calvinist (Oxford
DNB, ‘Middleton, Thomas’).
Taylor, Oxford DNB, ‘Middleton, Thomas’. Middleton received
Critical and historical contexts of the Lord Mayor’s Show
survive – in a more complex way than one might assume – in the
printed texts often produced as part of the event. These texts were
produced by a body of professional writers, including Thomas
Middleton, Thomas Dekker, Anthony Munday, Thomas Heywood,
John Taylor and John Webster, who worked in collaboration with
artiﬁcers and others to design and stage the entertainment. The
Shows have a presence elsewhere in early modern culture too, featuring, often satirically, in a wide range of other dramatic and prose
works. Their heyday (and the period covered by