The Poetics of Melancholy in Early Modern England explores how attitudes toward, and explanations of, human emotions change in England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Typically categorized as 'literary' writers Edmund Spenser, John Donne, Robert Burton and John Milton were all active in the period's reappraisal of the single emotion that, due to their efforts, would become the passion most associated with the writing life: melancholy. By emphasising the shared concerns of the 'non-literary' and 'literary' texts produced by these figures, Douglas Trevor asserts that quintessentially 'scholarly' practices such as glossing texts and appending sidenotes shape the methods by which these same writers come to analyse their own moods. He also examines early modern medical texts, dramaturgical representations of learned depressives such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the opposition to materialistic accounts of the passions voiced by Neoplatonists such as Edmund Spenser.
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(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Douglas Trevor
Douglas Trevor is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa. He is co-editor of Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture (2000), and has published articles on Michel de Montaigne, Thomas More, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, George Herbert, and other early modern writers. He is also a contributing editor to The Complete Pelican Shakespeare (2002), and serves on the Editorial Board of the Shakespeare Yearbook.