Catalogue


Praise and paradox : merchants and craftsmen in Elizabethan popular literature /
Laura Caroline Stevenson.
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1984.
description
xiii, 252 p. --
ISBN
0521265061
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1984.
isbn
0521265061
general note
Based on the author's thesis (doctoral)--Yale University, 1974.
Includes index.
catalogue key
3023047
 
Bibliography: p. 214-232.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-01:
Begun as a Yale University history dissertation, this volume explores the relationships among language, literary structure, and social ideology in Elizabethan literature that praises merchants and craftsmen. The premise is that such works have ``value as guides to the social assumptions, attitudes and ambitions of sixteenth-century Englishmen.'' Stevenson claims such literature departed sharply from earlier cultural tradition and coincided with Elizabethan economic events. Part 1 studies a canon of 296 popular works printed in England between 1558 and 1603. Part 2 discusses the changes in portrayals of merchants from usurers to merchant-warriors; Part 3 depicts the changes of artisans from rustics and clowns to gentle craftsmen and brave soldiers. The author argues that the paradoxes in the new stereotypes resulted from the lack of a language and ideology enabling those authors to separate bourgeois and aristocratic values, thereby suggesting what may seem obvious: ``that merchants and gentlemen had different social values, not merely separate social ranks.'' With only a limited index, and appendixes about the primary sources and their authors, the work needs a bibliography of secondary sources referred to in the copious footnotes. Appropriate for upper-division undergraduates.-D.S. Barnard Jr., York College of Pennsylvania
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1986
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Summaries
Description for Library
Praise and Paradox explores the relationship of language, literary structure, and social ideology in the popular Elizabethan literature that praised merchants, industrialists and craftsmen. Laura Stevenson argues that the new stereotypes of merchants and craftsmen were inherently paradoxical: there was obvious tension in a portrait of a merchant-vassal or an urban pastoral shepherd. Yet, she argues, there was no language or ideology which enabled authors to separate bourgeois values from aristocratic values and suggest that merchants and gentlemen had different social values, not just separate social ranks.
Description for Bookstore
Praise and Paradox explores the relationship of language, literary structure, and social ideology in the popular Elizabethan literature that praised merchants, industrialists and craftsmen. This literature relied on paradoxical new stereotypes because its authors had no language or ideology that enabled them to separate bourgeois values from the old aristocratic ones.
Main Description
Praise and Paradox explores the relationship of language, literary structure, and social ideology in the popular Elizabethan literature that praised merchants, industrialists and craftsmen. Part I defines a canon of 296 popular vernacular works, relates the increasing popularity of tales about tradesmen to the development of the English economy and the expansion of the Elizabethan audience, and discusses the social origins of the popular authors. Part II is concerned with the change of the merchant's literary image from that of a greedy usurer to that of a 'businessman in armour' who defended his monarch on the battlefield and entertained princes at lavish banquets. Part III discusses the change in the literary image of the craftsman, who ceased to be a clown or a rebel and became a 'gentle craftsman' who fought bravely on the battlefield when necessary but was happier in his humble shop, where he sang, danced, and courted pretty girls.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Prefactory note
Introduction: praise and paradox
Elizabethan Popular Literature
Elizabethan popular literature and its economic context
The popular Elizabethan authors
The popular Elizabethan audience
The Business in Armour
Principal citizens and chief yeomen
The merchant as usurer: a stock image in decline
The merchant as knight, courtier and prince
Lessons in diligence and thrift
The Gentle Craftsman
Clown and rebel: the craftsman as one of 'the fourth sort of people'
The gentle craftsman in Arcadia
Appendices
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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