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David Francis Taylor
Theatres of Opposition: Empire, Revolution, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Oxford University Press
, February 2012
Richard Brinsley Sheridan is best known as the author of two of the English stage's most popular comedies, The Rivals
and The School for Scandal
. In his own lifetime, however, Sheridan was as renowned a politician as he was a playwright, and during a parliamentary career that spanned thirty-two years - the large majority of which he spent in opposition - he was an advocate of reform, a supporter of the French Revolution and of Irish independence, and a fierce critic of the government's curtailment of civil liberties. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, from previously unpublished manuscript materials to political pamphlets and satirical cartoons, Theatres of Oppos
ition rehabilitates this too often forgotten figure, and offers the first detailed examination of the complex simultaneity and interconnectedness of Sheridan's theatrical and political practices. Moreover, by tracing the artistic and professional trajectory of Sheridan as a playwright, radical parliamentarian, celebrated orator, and playhouse manager, this book sheds important new light on the overlap between theatrical and political cultures in London during the last thirty years of the eighteenth century. Sheridan, Taylor contends, provides a prism through which we can revise our understanding of the ways in which the sites of power and performance habitually bled into one another at this time. Excavating a theatrical politics as precise as it is problematic, Theatres of Opposition
speaks to a spectrum of interests, from theatre and political histories to the studies of oratory and visual culture.
David Townsend, trans. and ed.Walter of Châtillon, The Alexandreis: A Twelfth Century Epic
Broadview Press, 2006
Walter of Châtillon’s Latin epic on the life of Alexander the Great was a twelfth- and thirteenth-century best-seller: scribes produced over two hundred manuscripts. The poem follows Alexander from his first successes in Asia Minor, through his conquest of Persia and India, to his progressive moral degeneration and his poisoning by a disaffected lieutenant. The Alexandreis exemplifies twelfth-century discourses of world domination and the exoticism of the East. But at the same time it calls such dreams of mastery into question, repeatedly undercutting as it does Alexander’s claims to heroism and virtue—and by extension, similar claims by the great men of Walter’s own generation. This extraordinarily layered and subtle poem stands as a high-water mark of the medieval tradition of Latin narrative literature.
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Pierre-Esprit Radisson: The Collected Writings, Volume 1: The Voyages
McGill-Queen's University Press (Oct 1 2012)
Pierre-Esprit Radisson was many men: a teenager captured, tortured, and adopted by the Mohawk, a youth relishing the freedom of the wilderness, the French-born servant of an ambitious English trading company, a hapless petitioner at the court of Louis XIV, a central figure in the tug of war between France and England over Hudson Bay, a pretender to aristocratic status defending his actions before James II, a retired “sea captain” trying to provide for his children, and despite the pension he had fought for, the “decay’d Gentleman” described in his burial record. Radisson’s writings provoke many questions. Was he a semi-literate woodsman? Are his accounts of Native life ethnographically reliable? Can he be trusted to tell the truth about himself? How important were his explorations?
All these questions are raised in this new edition of the explorer’s writings in English and French – Voyages, Relations, letters and petitions – plus two previously unknown documents, all edited to a high scholarly standard. Radisson is a Canadian icon, his signature in lights on a great hotel chain, central figure of a French comic-book series, his name on a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, a vast converter station on the Nelson River, a territory on James Bay, a suburb of Syracuse, New York, a town in Saskatchewan, and a walking trail in rural Minnesota. Who in fact was Radisson? This richly annotated new edition brings us closer to knowing this “mercurial genius.”
Decentring the Renaissance
University of Toronto Press, 2001
Much has been written about the effect early European discoverers and explorers had on Canada, but little on the effect Canada and its Native peoples had on the discoverers and explorers. Decentring the Renaissance contemplates that reversal of perspective from north of the border, where Spanish influence was thin and Britain and France contended for hegemony. It brings together essays by Natalie Zemon Davis, Selma Barkham, Denys Delage, Réal Ouellet, Anne Lake Prescott, Olive Dickason and others, from a ground-breaking 1996 conference organized by Germaine Warkentin.
Sonnet Sequences and Social Distinction in Renaissance England, Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture 49
Cambridge University Press, 2005
Why were sonnet sequences popular in Renaissance England? In this study, Christopher Warley suggests that sonneteers created a vocabulary to describe, and to invent, new forms of social distinction before an explicit language of social class e
xisted. The tensions inherent in the genre - between lyric and narrative, between sonnet and sequence - offered writers a means of reconceptualizing the relation between individuals and society, a way to try to come to grips with the broad social transformations taking place at the end of the sixteenth century. By stressing the struggle over social classification, the book revises studies that have tied the influence of sonnet sequences to either courtly love or to Renaissance individualism. Drawing on Marxist aesthetic theory, it offers detailed examinations of sequences by Lok, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton. It will be valuable to readers interested in Renaissance and genre studies, and post-Marxist theories of class.
Karen A. Weisman
Imageless Truths: Shelley's Poetic Fictions
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994
In Imageless Truths Karen Weisman offers a new reading of Shelley's work in the context of the poet's changing constructions of poetic fictions. Shelley's understanding of language in general, and of fictions and their rhetorical tropes in particular, evolved throughout his career, and Weisman argues that it is in his self-consciousness over these transformations that we can find the primary motivating factor in the poet's philosophical and literary development. Weisman discerns in Shelley an ongoing quest for a mode of fiction-making that can accommodate both the poet's belief in a metaphysical ultimate and his anxiety over the implications of grounding poetic fictions too firmly in the details of quotidian existence. If Shelley's awareness of fictionality is a major element in the poetry, it is an awareness that comes with the troubled sense of the limits of fiction.
Early Romanticism and Religious Dissent
Cambridge University Press, 2007
Religious diversity and ferment characterize the period that gave rise to Romanticism in England. It is generally known that many individuals who contributed to the new literatures of the late eighteenth century came from Dissenting backgrounds, but we nonetheless often underestimate the full significance of nonconformist beliefs and practices during this period. Daniel White provides a clear and useful introduction to Dissenting communities, focusing on Anna Barbauld and her familial network of heterodox "liberal" Dissenters whose religious, literary, educational, political, and economic activities shaped the public culture of early Romanticism in England. He goes on to analyze the roles of nonconformity within the lives and writings of William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey, offering a Dissenting genealogy of the Romantic movement.Top Of Page
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