A 'Deluge of Libertinism' swept through England in the turbulent seventeenth century: class and gender relations went into deep crisis, and sexually explicit literature took the blame. Bridging periods often kept apart, Libertines and Radicals analyses English sexual culture between the Civil Wars and the death of Charles II in great detail. James Grantham Turner examines a broad range of Civil War and Restoration texts, from sex-crime records to Milton's epics and Rochester's 'mannerly obscene' lyrics. Turner places special emphasis on women's writing and on pornographic texts like The Wandering Whore and The Parliament of Women, flavoured with cockney humour or 'Puritan' indignation. Throughout, Turner reads satirical texts, whether political or pornographic, as an attempt to neutralize women's efforts to establish their own institutions and their own voice. This exhaustive study will be of interest to cultural historians as well as literary scholars.
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(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - James Grantham Turner
James Grantham Turner is Professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of One Flesh: Paradisal Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Age of Milton (1987) and editor of The Politics of Landscape: Rural Scenery and Society in English Poetry, 1630-1660 (1979) and Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe: Institutions, Texts, Images (Cambridge 1993).