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English Renaissance literary criticism /
edited by Brian Vickers.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
description
xiv, 655 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0198186797
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
isbn
0198186797
catalogue key
3555223
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [626]-628) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-07-01:
These are two of the most distinguished publications in Renaissance literary studies to have appeared in many years. Vickers (Univ. of Zurich) gathered 36 essential selections, which range from Sir Thomas Elyot's reflections on the virtues of poetic eloquence (1531) to Thomas Hobbes's thoughts on epic poetry (1675). Norton (Williams College) commissioned 61 scholarly treatments of the central questions concerning the evolution of European literary criticism of the period. Vickers's 50-page introduction sets forth a valuable framework that one can apply to both volumes. In addition to the usual suspects (Spenser, Harvey, Sidney, Jonson, Milton, et al.), he includes long selections from rhetoricians Wilson and Puttenham; several hard-to-find pieces; thoughtfully edited passages from Shakespeare, Chapman, and Campion; and John Ford's never-before-printed "Elegy for John Fletcher." What makes this selection so insightful and useful is Vickers's recognition of the rhetorical and prescriptive character of early modern English criticism. For most of the 20th century, historians of criticism believed that the late-15th-century recovery of Aristotle's Poetics signaled a turn away from the rhetoric of moral instruction and toward a descriptive poetics of aesthetic experience. Vickers maintains that this position results from imposing a modern sense of how aesthetic pleasure derives from literary form onto the practical and moral sensibility of English Renaissance poets and critics. The chance simultaneity of the publication of Vickers's collection of primary readings and Norton's collection of contemporary scholarly assessment affords the unique opportunity to test Vickers's thesis that Aristotle's influence took hold on the Continent much earlier than in England. The contributors to Norton's volume have a wide range of interests, English criticism being only one, but in the various national contexts one discerns the same dynamic movement from rhetorical to poetic criticism. Norton's sections include "Reading and Interpretation" and "Poetics" (the longest); others look at the rebirth of pagan literary forms and critical values in a Christian culture, the relation of literary language to the emergence of the vernacular, the relation of genres to the emergence of new moral and aesthetic sensibilities, and metropolitan culture as an important context for the birth of a new critical language. Indispensable to all academic collections, these two volumes will give students, scholars, and general readers a new context in which to understand the emergence of early-modern literary culture. N. Lukacher; University of Illinois at Chicago
Reviews
Review Quotes
'English Renaissance Literary Criticism may well become the standardreference collection ... the greatest coup is John Ford's elegy on JohnFletcher, discovered by the late Jeremy Maule and printed here for the firsttime.'Alastair Fowler, TLS 9/6/00.
'English Renaissance Literary Criticism may well become the standard reference collection ... the greatest coup is John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher, discovered by the late Jeremy Maule and printed here for the first time.' Alastair Fowler, TLS 9/6/00.
He [Vickers] illuminates the classical background to his texts with particular clarity ... This richly rewarding collection is a worthy successor to the classic anthologies of Gregory Smith and J. E. Spingarn.
'In addition to the usual suspects (Spencer, Harvey, Sidney, Jonson, Milton, et al), he includes long selections from rhetoricians Wilson and Puttenham; several hard-to-find pieces; thoughtfully edited passages from Shakespeare, Chapman, and Champion; and John Ford's never-before-printed'Elegy for John Fletcher'. What makes this selection so insightful and useful is Vicker's recognition of the rhetorical and prescriptive character of early modern English criticism.' N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.
'In addition to the usual suspects (Spencer, Harvey, Sidney, Jonson,Milton, et al), he includes long selections from rhetoricians Wilson andPuttenham; several hard-to-find pieces; thoughtfully edited passages fromShakespeare, Chapman, and Champion; and John Ford's never-before-printed 'Elegyfor John Fletcher'. What makes this selection so insightful and useful isVicker's recognition of the rhetorical and prescriptive character of earlymodern English criticism.'N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.
'Inglish Renaissance Literary Cricicism may well become the standardreference collection ... the greatest coup is John Ford's elegy on JohnFletcher, discovered by the late Jeremy Maule and printed here for the firsttime.'Alastair Fowler, TLS 9/6/00.
"Invaluable...In the pages of this volume, the voices of [Shakespeare's] contemporaries make it abundantly clear that his verbal mastery was no accident."--The Providence Journal "Vickers is still one of the liveliest of grand old men of Shakespeare scholarship.... The book is now available in paperback and would be excellent for college courses in criticism."--Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
"Invaluable...In the pages of this volume, the voices of [Shakespeare's] contemporaries make it abundantly clear that his verbal mastery was no accident."-- The Providence Journal "Vickers is still one of the liveliest of grand old men of Shakespeare scholarship.... The book is now available in paperback and would be excellent for college courses in criticism."-- Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
"Invaluable...In the pages of this volume, the voices of [Shakespeare's] contemporaries make it abundantly clear that his verbal mastery was no accident."--The Providence Journal "Vickers is still one of the liveliest of grand old men of Shakespeare scholarship.... The book is now available in paperback and would be excellent for college courses in criticism."--Biblioth que d'Humanisme et Renaissance
'[one] of the most distinguished publications in Renaissance literary studies to have appeared in many years.' N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.
'[one] of the most distinguished publications in Renaissance literarystudies to have appeared in many years.'N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.
This excellent anthology can be recommended with very few reservations. Let us hope it will be followed by a second volume continuing the selection into the seventeenth century.
Vickers's Notes are a model of pertinence and economy. They not only adduce a wide variety of ancient sources, but ascribe these discriminatingly, in accordance with modern scholarship.
Vickers's splendid, fifty-five page introduction puts his selection in context, tracing its application of the dazzling variety of classical rhetoric. This must be one of the most pithily compressed accounts ever attempted of criticism as applied to rhetoric.
Well-conceived and well-tuned anthology ... informative introduction ... this book will become an indispensable source for scholars, theoreticians of literature, university professors, writers, and nonacademic readers for as long as our interest in Renaissance studies continues.
'English Renaissance Literary Criticism may well become the standard reference collection ... the greatest coup is John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher, discovered by the late Jeremy Maule and printed here for the first time.'Alastair Fowler, TLS 9/6/00.'In addition to the usual suspects (Spencer, Harvey, Sidney, Jonson, Milton, et al), he includes long selections from rhetoricians Wilson and Puttenham; several hard-to-find pieces; thoughtfully edited passages from Shakespeare, Chapman, and Champion; and John Ford's never-before-printed 'Elegy for John Fletcher'. What makes this selection so insightful and useful is Vicker's recognition of the rhetorical and prescriptive character of early modern Englishcriticism.'N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.'[one] of the most distinguished publications in Renaissance literary studies to have appeared in many years.'N.Lukacher, Choice, Jul/Aug. 2000.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2000
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This wide-ranging compilation of texts illustrates clearly the wide variety of criticism of English literature on offer during the Renaissance period by numerous critics.
Long Description
This is the first comprehensive collection of English Renaissance literary criticism to appear for nearly a century. Brian Vickers has brought together a wide-ranging selection of texts, some well-known (such as Sir Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry, the most brilliant critical essay of the whole Renaissance, here given complete), some little-known (Dudley North's account of Metaphysical poetry), and one being printed for the first time (John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher).
Main Description
This is the first comprehensive collection of English Renaissance literary criticism to appear for nearly a century. Brian Vickers has brought together a wide-ranging selection of texts, some well-known (such as Sir Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry , the most brilliant critical essay of the whole Renaissance, here given complete), some little-known (Dudley North's account of Metaphysical poetry), and one being printed for the first time (John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher).
Main Description
This is the first comprehensive collection of English Renaissance literary criticism to appear for nearly a century. Brian Vickers has brought together a wide-ranging selection of texts, some well-known (such as Sir Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry, the most brilliant critical essay of thewhole Renaissance, here given complete), some little-known (Dudley North's account of Metaphysical poetry), and one being printed for the first time (John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher).
Main Description
'Well-conceived and well-tuned anthology... informative introduction... this book will become an indispensable source for scholars, theoreticians of literature, university professors, writers, and nonacademic readers for as long as our interest in Renaissance studies continues.' -In-between, Essays andamp; Studies in Literary Criticism'He [Vickers] illuminates the classical background to his texts with particular clarity... This richly rewarding collection is a worthy successor to the classic anthologies of Gregory Smith and J. E. Spingarn.' -English Studies'Vickers's splendid, fifty-five page introduction puts his selection in context, tracing its application of the dazzling variety of classical rhetoric. This must be one of the most pithily compressed accounts ever attempted of criticism as applied to rhetoric.' -Alastair Fowler, Times Literary Supplement'Vickers's Notes are a model of pertinence and economy. They not only adduce a wide variety of ancient sources, but ascribe these discriminatingly, in accordance with modern scholarship.' -Alastair Fowler, Times Literary Supplement'This excellent anthology can be recommended with very few reservations. Let us hope it will be followed by a second volume continuing the selection into the seventeenth century.' -Alastair Fowler, Times Literary Supplement'English Renaissance Literary Criticism may well become the standard reference collection... the greatest coup is John Ford's elegy on John Fletcher, discovered by the late Jeremy Maule and printed here for the first time.' -Alastair Fowler, Times Literary SupplementThis is the first comprehensive collection of English Renaissance literary criticism to appear for nearly a century. In his wide-ranging introduction the editor shows that English critics in the period 1520 to 1650 owed most to classical writers on rhetoric and poetics: Cicero, Horace, Quintilian, Plutarch. All selections are annotated, identifying classical and other sources, and giving translations for Greek, Latin, and Italian texts. A section is devoted to Further Reading, and an extensive glossary is provided for archaic and technical words.
Table of Contents
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction
Further Reading
A Note on the Texts
Sir Thomas Elyot
Henry Howard
Thomas Wilson
Alexander Neville
William Baldwin
Roger Ascham
George Gascoigne
George Whetstone
Edmund Spenser and E.K.
George Puttenham
Edmund Spenser
Sir John Harrington
William Shakespeare
Gabriel Harvey
Sir Philip Sidney
George Chapman
Robert Southwell
John Hoskyns
Thomas Campion
Samuel Daniel
Ben Jonson, Rhymes against rhyme
Francis Bacon
Ben Jonson, The moral function of poetry
Thomas Heywood
John Fletcher
Dudley North
George Chapman
Ben Jonson, The faults of contemporary drama
William Drummond
Ben Jonson, A tribute to Shakespeare
John Ford
Philip Massinger
Thomas Carew
Ben Jonson, Notes on literature
John Milton
Thomas Hobbes
Glossary
List of Rhetorical Figures
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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