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Heart-work : George Herbert and the Protestant ethic /
Cristina Malcolmson.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1999.
description
xi, 297 p.
ISBN
0804729883 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1999.
isbn
0804729883 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3439051
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Cristina Malcolmson is Associate Professor of English at Bates College.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
This book places George Herbert's writing and biography within the history of social and economic change in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on the works of Max Weber, Raymond Williams, and the Protestant preachers of the period, the author argues that the doctrine of vocation is the shaping principle of The Temple and the prose manual The Country Parson, which coordinate inward devotion with outward social role like the soul with the body. This form of early modern subjectivity is shown to be significantly at odds with the system of status and yet developed in order to preserve traditional models of community. The book demonstrates that Herbert's family shared his Protestant vision of "the common good," which included innovations in agriculture and mining, colonization of the Americas, and a worldwide trade nexus. William Herbert, patron of Shakespeare and head of the Protestant faction at court and in Parliament, was also George Herbert's patron, and George's involvement with this faction is offered as the explanation for his lack of patronage from an increasingly Anglo-Catholic court. His position as a country parson required the renunciation of ambition and a new ideal of the "character" of holiness but in no way decreased his dedication to the Protestant linking of religion and enterprise. The author explores the poetic coterie out of which Herbert's lyrics were generated, the remarkable revisions that erased an earlier version of The Temple authorizing social mobility, and the role of class in the poetic collection as well as in modern critical accounts. Herbert's use of the pastoral is considered in relation to his family's practice of gardening, which redefined economic innovation as moral reformation. The author argues that Herbert's works and those of his family make visible the influence of and the resistance to the new capitalist economic system emerging in the early modern period.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-06:
Malcolmson's is the first study to interrelate analysis of early modern subjectivity with the process by which George Herbert contemplates the topic of his ministerial vocation in poetry and prose, respectively The Temple and The Country Parson. The author (Bates College) pursues a scholarly and critical methodology derived from cultural materialism (emphasizing Max Weber and Raymond Williams), and she appropriates the perspectives of several Protestant preachers who were Herbert's contemporaries. Malcolmson astutely perceives the ministerial vocation as the informing principle of Herbert's works, and more than other commentators she situates her analysis in a larger framework, notably the cultural milieu (economic, sociological, and religious) of 17th-century England: e.g., Protestantism, capitalism, mining, agricultural innovations, overseas colonization, financial enterprise, and the commonwealth. She looks at the interaction between Herbert's personal life and his pastoral vocation--or between the inner Christian life of holiness and devotion and the public social role of minister. With ample documentation and an intensive analysis of the poetry and prose, Malcolmson persuasively charts how Herbert achieved his subject formation by retreating to the life of a country parson without renouncing the life he left behind. Highly recommended for graduate students, researchers, and faculty. A. C. Labriola; Duquesne University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Heart-Workreads well; it is generally well-researched and written. It clearly identifies its critical task and presents fascinating historical information."Early Modern Literary Studies
Heart-Workreads well; it is generally well-researched and written. It clearly identifies its critical task and presents fascinating historical information."-- Early Modern Literary Studies
Heart-Workreads well; it is generally well-researched and written. It clearly identifies its critical task and presents fascinating historical information."--Early Modern Literary Studies
"Malcolmson has produced what is without question a major new view of Herbert's career and his poems that will stand as one of the finest treatments of one of our greatest poets. . . . Poems one has read, taught, and written about for years suddenly take on fresh and richer meanings. This is New Historicist criticism at its finest."Eugene Hill, Mount Holyoke College
"Malcolmson has produced what is without question a major new view of Herbert's career and his poems that will stand as one of the finest treatments of one of our greatest poets. . . . Poems one has read, taught, and written about for years suddenly take on fresh and richer meanings. This is New Historicist criticism at its finest."--Eugene Hill, Mount Holyoke College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2000
Reference & Research Book News, August 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"Malcolmson has produced what is without question a major new view of Herbert's career and his poems that will stand as one of the finest treatments of one of our greatest poets. . . . Poems one has read, taught, and written about for years suddenly take on fresh and richer meanings. This is New Historicist criticism at its finest."Eugene Hill, Mount Holyoke College Heart-Work reads well; it is generally well-researched and written. It clearly identifies its critical task and presents fascinating historical information."Early Modern Literary Studies
Back Cover Copy
"Malcolmson has produced what is without question a major new view of Herbert's career and his poems that will stand as one of the finest treatments of one of our greatest poets. . . . Poems one has read, taught, and written about for years suddenly take on fresh and richer meanings. This is New Historicist criticism at its finest."--Eugene Hill, Mount Holyoke College Heart-Work reads well; it is generally well-researched and written. It clearly identifies its critical task and presents fascinating historical information."--Early Modern Literary Studies
Bowker Data Service Summary
Placing George Herbert's writing and biography within the history of social and economic change in 17th-century England, the author argues that the Protestant doctrine of vocation is the shaping principle of The Temple and The Country Parson.
Main Description
This book places George Herbert's writing and biography within the history of social and economic change in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on the works of Max Weber, Raymond Williams, and the Protestant preachers of the period, the author argues that the doctrine of vocation is the shaping principle of The Templeand the prose manual The Country Parson, which coordinate inward devotion with outward social role like the soul with the body. This form of early modern subjectivity is shown to be significantly at odds with the system of status and yet developed in order to preserve traditional models of community. The book demonstrates that Herbert's family shared his Protestant vision of "the common good," which included innovations in agriculture and mining, colonization of the Americas, and a worldwide trade nexus. William Herbert, patron of Shakespeare and head of the Protestant faction at court and in Parliament, was also George Herbert's patron, and George's involvement with this faction is offered as the explanation for his lack of patronage from an increasingly Anglo-Catholic court. His position as a country parson required the renunciation of ambition and a new ideal of the "character" of holiness but in no way decreased his dedication to the Protestant linking of religion and enterprise. The author explores the poetic coterie out of which Herbert's lyrics were generated, the remarkable revisions that erased an earlier version of The Templeauthorizing social mobility, and the role of class in the poetic collection as well as in modern critical accounts. Herbert's use of the pastoral is considered in relation to his family's practice of gardening, which redefined economic innovation as moral reformation. The author argues that Herbert's works and those of his family make visible the influence of and the resistance to the new capitalist economic system emerging in the early modern period.
Main Description
This book places George Herbert's writing and biography within the history of social and economic change in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on the works of Max Weber, Raymond Williams, and the Protestant preachers of the period, the author argues that the doctrine of vocation is the shaping principle ofThe Templeand the prose manualThe Country Parson, which coordinate inward devotion with outward social role like the soul with the body. This form of early modern subjectivity is shown to be significantly at odds with the system of status and yet developed in order to preserve traditional models of community. The book demonstrates that Herbert's family shared his Protestant vision of "the common good," which included innovations in agriculture and mining, colonization of the Americas, and a worldwide trade nexus. William Herbert, patron of Shakespeare and head of the Protestant faction at court and in Parliament, was also George Herbert's patron, and George's involvement with this faction is offered as the explanation for his lack of patronage from an increasingly Anglo-Catholic court. His position as a country parson required the renunciation of ambition and a new ideal of the "character" of holiness but in no way decreased his dedication to the Protestant linking of religion and enterprise. The author explores the poetic coterie out of which Herbert's lyrics were generated, the remarkable revisions that erased an earlier version ofThe Templeauthorizing social mobility, and the role of class in the poetic collection as well as in modern critical accounts. Herbert's use of the pastoral is considered in relation to his family's practice of gardening, which redefined economic innovation as moral reformation. The author argues that Herbert's works and those of his family make visible the influence of and the resistance to the new capitalist economic system emerging in the early modern period.
Unpaid Annotation
This book places George Herbert's writing and biography within the history of social and economic change in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on the works of Max Weber, Raymond Williams, and the Protestant preachers of the period, the author argues that the doctrine of vocation is the shaping principle of The Temple and the prose manual The Country Parson, which coordinate inward devotion with outward social role like the soul with the body. This form of early modern subjectivity is shown to be significantly at odds with the system of status and yet developed in order to preserve traditional models of community.The book demonstrates that Herbert's family shared his Protestant vision of "the common good, " which included innovations in agriculture and mining, colonization of the Americas, and a worldwide trade nexus. William Herbert, patron of Shakespeare and head of the Protestant faction at court and in Parliament, was also George Herbert's patron, and George's involvement with this faction is offered as the explanation for his lack of patronage from an increasingly Anglo-Catholic court. His position as a country parson required the renunciation of ambition and a new ideal of the "character" of holiness but in no way decreased his dedication to the Protestant linking of religion and enterprise.The author explores the poetic coterie out of which Herbert's lyrics were generated, the remarkable revisions that erased an earlier version of The Temple authorizing social mobility, and the role of class in the poetic collection as well as in modern critical accounts. Herbert's use of the pastoral is considered in relation to his family's practice of gardening, which redefined economicinnovation as moral reformation. The author argues that Herbert's works and those of his family make visible the influence of and the resistance to the new capitalist economic system emerging in the early modern period.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. xi
Introduction
Vocation and Subjectivityp. 2
Herbert and Employmentp. 15
The Country Parson and the Character of Social Identityp. 26
George Herbert and Coterie Versep. 46
Gentility and Vocation in the Original Templep. 69
The Temple Revised: "Selfnesse" and Pollutionp. 96
The Character of Holiness in The Templep. 126
Pastoral, Vocation, and "Private Benefit,"p. 145
Religion and Enterprise in the Gardens of the Herbert Familyp. 179
Conclusion: Modern Criticism and the Ideology of Sincerityp. 205
Notesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 269
General Indexp. 285
Index of Worksp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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