Catalogue


Writing the English Republic : poetry, rhetoric, and politics, 1627-1660 /
David Norbrook.
edition
1st paperback ed.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
description
xiii, 509 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521785693 (paperback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
isbn
0521785693 (paperback)
catalogue key
4619932
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-09:
In this excellent history of literature and ideas, Norbrook (Univ. of Maryland, College Park) argues that "English republican imagination had deep roots in the humanist literary culture, and was far from being crushed by the Restoration of 1660"; other republican writers besides John Milton and Andrew Marvell merit scholarly attention in their efforts to "re-imagine English literary culture without Kingship." The author wants to remove Milton and Marvell "from their timeless pantheon" and view their works as engagements with an ongoing process. His discussion begins with Thomas May's translation Lucan's Pharsalia (1627), bringing it together with Paradise Lost (considered by many in part a product of Milton's despair at the Restoration). Norbrook suggests that court poetry and republicanism overlap and gives a prominent role to Edmund Waller ("a figure who occupied an awkward position at their margins and [who] thus incurred the wrath of both sides"). The author also discusses George Wither, Sir John Denham, Payne Fisher, John Hall, Sir William Davenant, Abraham Cowley, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Martin, Marchamont Nedham, and James Harrington, but he always comes back to Milton and Marvel's observations and reactions to the ideas of their contemporaries. Impressive--and in many ways important--this book is tough going but highly recommended for graduate students and faculty. A. F. Erlebach; Michigan Technological University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Writing the English Republic should convince any remaining skeptics that republicanism indeed has an early and important presence in seventeenth-century England. Magisterial, wide-ranging, and often brilliant, Writing the English Republic boldly rewrites the history of seventeenth-century English culture. The book should be of considerable interest and value to all scholars of the early modern period." Renaissance Quarterly
'[A] fine and important book ... I suspect that Writing the English Republic will have as large and lasting an impact as any previous or readily foreseeable study of the relationship between literature and politics in seventeenth-century England. [Norbrook] writes in an attractively exploratory spirit which resists dogmatism and the sealing of argument.' Blair Worden, The Times Literary Supplement
'[A] fine and important book ... I suspect that Writing the English Republic will have as large and lasting an impact as any previous or readily foreseeable study of the relationship between literature and politics in seventeenth-century England. [Norbrook] writes in an attractively exploratory spirit which resists dogmatism and the sealing of argument.'Blair Worden, The Times Literary Supplement
'The case for the republican conscience resounds most eloquently in the impressive coda to this book … By paying proper attention to poets and historians, Norbrook is able to show that republicanism's roots went deep into the political culture of the 1640s, and even earlier … But the pay-off for historians stems above all from Norbrook's decision to produce a theme-driven argument instead of a general survey. This has led him to dig deep into the textual remains of the Revolution, rather than content himself with the familiar surface structures.' London Review of Books
"[A] fine and important book...I suspect that Writing the English Republic will have as large and lasting an impact as any previous or readily forseeable study of the relationship between literature and politics in seventeenth-century England....[Norbrook] writes in an attractively exploratory spirit which resists dogmatism and the sealing of argument....The richness of insight and of fresh information supplied by Writing the English Republic is indebted to old fashioned virtues of archival industry and linguistic competence." Blair Worden, Times Literary Supplement
"...highly recommended for graduate students and faculty." Choice
"In this timely and far-reaching study, David Norbrook contributes to the present British anti-monarch project by demonstrating the many ways in which its cultural roots in the seventeenth century have fallen victim to an Act of Oblivion like that designed to efface remnants of the Interregnum in 1660. Norbrook succeeds admirably in 'restoring' to our conciousness as scholars and political animals an important tradition of literary republicanism that the 'Restoration' of 1660 and its Act of Oblivion willed us to forget." Leah S. Marcus, Vanderbilt University
"[Norbrook's] marvellously original, densely researched study of the English republican imagination (and intellect, one should stress) is an attempt to retrieve forgotten figures like the regicide Henry Marten, as well as to extend our understanding of the works of Milton and Marvell. As Britain moves towards either a republic or a reduced monarchy, Writing the English Republic should help us to understand this partly-buried period of English literary history." Tom Paulin, Independent
'The case for the republican conscience resounds most eloquently in the impressive coda to this book ... By paying proper attention to poets and historians, Norbrook is able to show that republicanism's roots went deep into the political culture of the 1640s, and even earlier ... But the pay-off for historians stems above all from Norbrook's decision to produce a theme-driven argument instead of a general survey. This has led him to dig deep into the textual remains of the Revolution, rather than content himself with the familiar surface structures.'London Review of Books
'The case for the republican conscience resounds most eloquently in the impressive coda to this book ... By paying proper attention to poets and historians, Norbrook is able to show that republicanism’s roots went deep into the political culture of the 1640s, and even earlier ... But the pay-off for historians stems above all from Norbrook’s decision to produce a theme-driven argument instead of a general survey. This has led him to dig deep into the textual remains of the Revolution, rather than content himself with the familiar surface structures.’London Review of Books
"...this book is exemplary..." Alan Rudrum, Seventeenth-Century News
'This is a profoundly important book and a really remarkable achievement. The historical scholarship is masterly, the intelligence and perceptiveness of the literary analysis is outstanding, and the book itself is beautifully and powerfully written. It is as important a book about seventeenth-century English republicanism as it is about seventeenth-century English poetry.' Jonathan Scott
'This is a profoundly important book and a really remarkable achievement. The historical scholarship is masterly, the intelligence and perceptiveness of the literary analysis is outstanding, and the book itself is beautifully and powerfully written. It is as important a book about seventeenth-century English republicanism as it is about seventeenth-century English poetry.'Jonathan Scott
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Summaries
Main Description
This magisterial new history of seventeenth-century republican political culture sets key texts by Marvell and Milton in a richly detailed context, showing how writers reimagined English literary culture without kingship. The book draws on extensive archival research, bringing to light exciting and neglected manuscript and printed sources. Offering a bold new narrative of the whole period, and a timely reminder that England has a republican as well as a royalist heritage, it will be of compelling interest to historians as well as literary scholars.
Main Description
'[Norbrook's] marvellously original, densely researched study of the English republican imagination is an attempt to retrieve forgotten figures like the regicide Henry Marten, as well as to extend our understanding of the works of Milton and Marvell.' Tom Paulin, The Independent '[A] fine and important book ... I suspect that Writing the English Republic will have as large and lasting an impact as any previous or readily foreseeable study of the relationship between literature and politics in seventeenth-century England. [Norbrook] writes in an attractively exploratory spirit which resists dogmatism and the sealing of argument.' Blair Worden,Times Literary Supplement 'The case for the republican conscience resounds most eloquently in the impressive coda to this book ... but the pay-off for historians stems above all from Norbrook's decision to produce a theme-driven argument instead of a general survey. This has led him to dig deep into the textual remains of the Revolution, rather than content himself with the familiar surface structures.' London Review of Books
Description for Bookstore
This paperback edition of David Norbrook's highly acclaimed book is a magisterial history of republican political culture that sets texts by Marvell and Milton in richly detailed context. '[A] marvellously original, densely researched study of the English republican imagination.' Tom Paulin, The Independent
Description for Bookstore
This paperback edition of David Norbrook’s highly acclaimed book is a magisterial history of republican political culture that sets texts by Marvell and Milton in richly detailed context.'[A] marvellously original, densely researched study of the English republican imagination.’ Tom Paulin, The Independent
Bowker Data Service Summary
The English republic of the mid-17th century is traditionally viewed as an aberration in political and literary history. The author argues against this view, & shows that the republican imagination had deep roots in humanist literary culture.
Description for Bookstore
This magisterial new history of seventeenth-century republican political culture sets key texts by Marvell and Milton in a richly detailed context, showing how writers re-imagined English political and literary culture without kingship. The book draws on extensive archival research, bringing to light exciting and neglected manuscript and printed sources. Offering a bold new narrative of the whole period, and a timely reminder that England has a republican as well as royalist heritage, it will be of compelling interest to historians as well as literary scholars.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Lucan and the poetry of civil war
The KingÆs peace and the peopleÆs war, 1630û43
Rhetoric, Republicanism and the public sphere, 1641û44
Uncivil peace: politics and literary culture 1645û49
Poetry and the Commonwealth, 1649û53
Double names: Marvell and the Commonwealth
King Oliver? Protectoral Augustanism and its critics, 1653û58
Republicanizing Cromwell
Culture and anarchy? The revival and eclipse of Republicanism, 1658û60
Paradise Lost and English Republicanism
Appendix
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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