Description - Early Modern English Literature by Jason Scott-Warren
When we engage with Shakespeare and his contemporaries, we engage with a culture radically unfamiliar to us at the start of the twenty-first century. The past is a foreign country, and so too are many of its texts. This readable and provocative book seeks to enhance our understanding of early modern literature by examining the contexts in which it was originally produced and consumed. Taking us back to the courts, theatres and marketplaces of early modern England, Jason Scott-Warren shows how literary texts dovetailed with everyday experience, unlocking the distinctive social practices, economic structures and modes of behaviour that gave them meaning. He shows how some of the most beguiling writing of the period was conditioned by long-forgotten notions of knowledge, nationhood, sexuality and personal identity. Bringing an anthropologist's eye to his materials, he offers richly contextualized readings of works from within and beyond the canon, covering a span that stretches from Erasmus and More to Milton and Behn.
Resisting any notion of the period as merely transitional - a staging post on the road leading from the medieval to the modern world - Scott-Warren reveals the distinctiveness of its literary culture, and equips the reader for fresh encounters with its extraordinary textual legacy. Any undergraduate student of the period will find it an essential guide, while scholars will find its fresh approach invigorating.
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(228mm x 151mm x mm)
Publisher: Polity Press
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Author Biography - Jason Scott-Warren
Jason Scott-Warren is University Lecturer in English, University of Cambridge.