English Renaissance literary criticism / edited by Brian Vickers.

Contributor(s): Vickers, BrianMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: Oxford : New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1999Description: xiv, 655 p. ; 23 cmISBN: 0198186797; 9780198186793; 0199261369 (pbk.); 9780199261369 (pbk.)Subject(s): European literature -- Renaissance, 1450-1600 -- History and criticism | English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism | Criticism -- England -- History -- 16th century | Criticism -- England -- History -- 17th centuryDDC classification: 820.9/003 LOC classification: PN721 | .E54 1999Other classification: 18.05
Contents:
The value of poetry in education / Sir Thomas Elyot -- Epitaph on Wyatt / Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey -- An English rhetoric / Thomas Wilson -- Tragedy and God's judgements / Alexander Neville -- Death of the poet Collingbourne / William Baldwin -- On imitation / Roger Ascham -- A primer of English poetry / George Gascoigne -- The morality of comedy / George Whetstone -- Pastoral poetry revived and explained / Edmund Spenser and E.K. -- English poetics and rhetoric / George Puttenham -- Allegory and the chivalric epic / Edmund Spenser -- An apology for Ariosto : poetry, epic, morality / Sir John Harington -- How to write love poetry / William Shakespeare -- In praise of Sidney's Arcadia / Gabriel Harvey -- A defence of poetry / Sir Philip Sidney -- The proper difficulty of poetry / George Chapman -- In praise of religious poetry / Robert Southwell -- Sidney's Arcadia and the rhetoric of English prose / John Hoskyns -- Classical metres suitable for English poetry / Thomas Campion -- Classical metres unsuitable for English poetry / Samuel Daniel -- Rhymes against rhyme / Ben Jonson -- Imitatio and its excesses : poetry, rhetoric, and the imagination / Francis Bacon -- The moral function of poetry / Ben Jonson -- A defence of drama / Thomas Heywood -- On pastoral tragicomedy / John Fletcher -- Against obscurity in love poetry / Dudley North -- On translating and defending Homer / George Chapman -- The faults of contemporary drama / Ben Jonson -- Ben Jonson's literary table-talk / William Drummond -- A tribute to Shakespeare / Ben Jonson -- Elegy on John Fletcher / John Ford -- A defence of drama / Philip Massinger -- Donne the renewer of English poetry / Thomas Carew -- Notes on literature / Ben Jonson -- The making of a Christian poet / John Milton -- On epic poetry / Thomas Hobbes.
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.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. [626]-628) and indexes.

The value of poetry in education / Sir Thomas Elyot -- Epitaph on Wyatt / Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey -- An English rhetoric / Thomas Wilson -- Tragedy and God's judgements / Alexander Neville -- Death of the poet Collingbourne / William Baldwin -- On imitation / Roger Ascham -- A primer of English poetry / George Gascoigne -- The morality of comedy / George Whetstone -- Pastoral poetry revived and explained / Edmund Spenser and E.K. -- English poetics and rhetoric / George Puttenham -- Allegory and the chivalric epic / Edmund Spenser -- An apology for Ariosto : poetry, epic, morality / Sir John Harington -- How to write love poetry / William Shakespeare -- In praise of Sidney's Arcadia / Gabriel Harvey -- A defence of poetry / Sir Philip Sidney -- The proper difficulty of poetry / George Chapman -- In praise of religious poetry / Robert Southwell -- Sidney's Arcadia and the rhetoric of English prose / John Hoskyns -- Classical metres suitable for English poetry / Thomas Campion -- Classical metres unsuitable for English poetry / Samuel Daniel -- Rhymes against rhyme / Ben Jonson -- Imitatio and its excesses : poetry, rhetoric, and the imagination / Francis Bacon -- The moral function of poetry / Ben Jonson -- A defence of drama / Thomas Heywood -- On pastoral tragicomedy / John Fletcher -- Against obscurity in love poetry / Dudley North -- On translating and defending Homer / George Chapman -- The faults of contemporary drama / Ben Jonson -- Ben Jonson's literary table-talk / William Drummond -- A tribute to Shakespeare / Ben Jonson -- Elegy on John Fletcher / John Ford -- A defence of drama / Philip Massinger -- Donne the renewer of English poetry / Thomas Carew -- Notes on literature / Ben Jonson -- The making of a Christian poet / John Milton -- On epic poetry / Thomas Hobbes.

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.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

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

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Brian Vickers is Chair of English Language and Literature, ETH Zurich

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