Catalogue


Governmental arts in early Tudor England /
Mary Polito.
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2005.
description
153 p. : ill.
ISBN
0754634205 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2005.
isbn
0754634205 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5392433
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2005
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
This book examines rhetoric and theatricality in governance and dissent during the 1530s. The author argues that humanist learning offered an early rationalization of human nature. By reading a range of primary documents, Polito finds that while such tactics were successful in producing a class of self-tempering bureaucrats, the variety of dissent in the period demonstrates that they failed in culturally productive ways. The book concludes that Tudor governmentality and its relationship to performance helped create the conditions for the emergence of the Elizabethan public theater and the critical subjects who would consume it.
Long Description
Governmental Arts in Early Tudor England studies the representational strategies through which government and dissent were performed during the English 1530s. Polito argues that the reign of Henry VIII saw the emergence of new forms of secular government. Through innovative legislation, the dissemination of propaganda and conduct literature, the appropriation of ecclesiastical and pastoral modes of rule and new and sometimes spectacular rituals of statecraft, this monarch and his counsellors worked on the intimate territories of conscience, desire and speech, as intention, sexual practises and verbal performatives were brought into the domain of public discourse and the juridical sphere. The book suggests that the conundrum of government was its assumption that its objects of government were 'sovereign' enough to deploy the kinds of self-temperance and circumspection required for the security of the realm. The same subject, however, governors understood and feared, would be deep and complex enough to alienate intention from action and, in the interest of liberty, to 'perform' as another if necessary. Tudor governmentality's notion of the self-conscious, self-divided, free subject/actor is therefore both the condition for, and the limit of, a pre-liberal form of governmentThe case of Elizabeth Barton, the nun executed for treason in 1534, supports Polito's argument that gender was key to the humanist-inspired epistemological approach to the art and science of government. The book also provides an examination of the new drama that was the Tudor secular interlude and finds that these plays both model and mock the governmental arts that linked self-temperance, freedom and prosperity. When the drama joins the government in worrying about the necessity and danger of dissimulation in the public sphere, actors, ironically, work to show that actors can be dangerous. Thus Polito shows Henrician theatre to be as complex, compromised and interesting as the Elizabethan public stage it helped to foster.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text presents a historical argument about the development of new forms of government in the 16th century, and studies the representational strategies through which government and dissent were performed in England during the 1530s.
Unpaid Annotation
This book examines rhetoric and theatricality in governance and dissent during the 1530s. Polito argues that humanist learning offered an early rationalization of human nature and the nation state and she names "governmental arts" those texts, performances and spectacles conscripted by government to employ such truths in the management of England. Reading a range of primary documents, including "secular interludes" by Skelton, Rastell and Bale, Polito finds that while such tactics were successful in producing a class of self-tempering bureaucrats, the variety of dissent in the period demonstrates that they failed in culturally productive ways.
Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction
Minds of state and states of mind
'That lovely bond': binding England
Governing bodies: humanism and the bureaucrats
Performing nature in the Tudor secular interlude
Elizabeth Barton, tempered tongues and Tudor treason
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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