England's time of crisis : from Shakespeare to Milton : a cultural history /
David Morse.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1989.
vii, 391 p. ; 23
0312024134 :
More Details
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1989.
0312024134 :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 377-387.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-02:
In the light of the work of Lawrence Stone, Christopher Hill, Keith Wrightson, Keith Thomas, Alan Sinfield, Jonathan Dollimore, and other prominent cultural historians of the last two decades, Morse proposes this book as a revision of such outdated handbooks of Tudor-Stuart intellectual and social history as E.M.W. Tillyard's The Elizabethan World Picture (London, 1943). In the first seven chapters, Morse draws upon wide reading of texts both well known and obscure to chronicle the growing sense of anxiety felt by the English in the 17th century: fear of invasion and subversion, suspicion of clerical corruption and of a morally unstable court, fear about the growth of London as a capital of self-indulgence and consumption. This survey is followed in the second half of the book by chapters presenting readings of the anxieties that surface in Shakespeare, in Stuart court tragedy, in the "private" consciousness explored by Donne, Burton, and Brown, and in the public vision of Clarendon, Hobbes, and Milton. Although the length of the book and its repetitive insistence upon its theme somewhat diminish its usefulness as a quick and thorough guide, the prose is lucid and the range of its coverage is admirable. A bibliography, which would have been of great value, is not included. Most appropriate for graduate students and faculty, the book may also be of use to upper-division undergraduates. -S. M. Foley, Brown University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1990
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