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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.

Negotiating vanity
Faye Tudor

séeme more amiable to hir best beloued shée painted hir faire face wt spots of shadowed modestie: not fro~ Apelles shop, whose colours MUP_Smith_Printer.indd 185 02/04/2015 16:18 186 Aesthetic sensory experiences are cou~terfeit, nor yet from Zeuxes famous in portratures. But sent from Proserpina wife to Pluto. A welwisher to this wedlocke: better coulours then Psyches carried to Venus quicklie decaied, but these last longer then they should. After shée had hanged at hir eares manie costlie fauours of follie farre set from the Indians of Anglia, [Note: Wherein is

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Antony and Cleopatra and visual musical experience
Simon Smith

/04/2015 16:18 168 Aesthetic sensory experiences but rather to explore how sensations become entangled in practice.2 Recent studies of early modern performance, such as Janette Dillon’s exploration of Elizabethan court spectatorship, have similarly acknowledged the co-functionality of the senses: The word ‘spectator’, linked as it is, through etymology, to sight, is inadequate to represent the nature of the engagement a subject makes with a spectacle (again a term that privileges sight). Perceiving a procession, as von Wedel’s account [of Elizabeth I’s Accession Day

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
The pleasure of reading comedies in early modern England
Hannah August

dramatic paratexts appear to both create and respond to a MUP_Smith_Printer.indd 201 02/04/2015 16:18 202 Aesthetic sensory experiences market desire for printed comedies as repositories of the type of erotic pleasure that antitheatricalists feared audiences would experience in the theatre. That such a motivation for playreading existed is confirmed by the early seventeenth-century manuscript commonplace book of William Drummond of Hawthornden, which I discuss in my conclusion. Craik and Pollard point out that ‘early modern writers who discussed how it felt to

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660