Literature and revolution in England 1640-1660 /
Nigel Smith.
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1994.
xiv, 425 p. : ill.
More Details
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1994.
general note
Title on spine: Literature & revolution in England, 1640-1660.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-03:
Depending on the future of New Historicism, this book may either come to be regarded as a groundbreaking work, or it may sink without trace. Smith contends that those 20 years in the mid-17th century are not just a turning point in England's political, social, and religious history, but also decisively altered the use and meaning of language and literature. Civil war literature, which Smith calls "a series of remarkable writings produced at a remarkable time," has hitherto been marginalized. Cogently and with a daunting range of examples, Smith demonstrates how dramatic resources migrated to the new genres of the pamphlet and journalism. Giving equal emphasis to Republican and to Royalist viewpoints, he explores the effect of "the moment of innovation" on all genres: he is particularly interesting on the ways in which classical, biblical, and epic language become redeployed to suit "interiority," the concerns with England's political turbulence. Of the women poets of the interregnum, especially Katherine Philips and Margaret Cavendish, Smith writes: "We still need to understand more about this kind of poetry before our view of the literary canon is properly renewed." This is the gauntlet, but will others take it up? Upper-division undergraduate and up. R. J. Craik; Kent State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1995
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Dissent Refracted: Text, Genre and Society 1640-60p. 1
Writing, Publishing and Reading in the Warp. 21
Unstable Parametersp. 23
Public Forap. 54
Rhetoric, Politics and Religionp. 93
The Meaning of the Centrep. 95
Discourse from Below: The Levellers, the City and the Armyp. 130
Political Theory as Aesthetics: Hobbes, Harrington, Winstanleyp. 154
The Free State in Letters: Republicanism Comes Outp. 177
Mythologising Calamity: Genres in Revolutionp. 201
Heroic Workp. 203
The Instrumentality of Lyricsp. 250
Satire: Whose Property?p. 295
Calamity as Narrativep. 320
Conclusionp. 357
Notesp. 365
Indexp. 403
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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