The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1500-1600 by Arthur F. Kinney

By Arthur F. Kinney

This is often the 1st finished account of English Renaissance literature within the context of the tradition that formed it: the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the tumult of Catholic and Protestant alliances in the course of the Reformation, the age of printing and of latest international discovery. The significant other covers advancements in poetry, prose, spiritual writing, drama, satire and humanism in fourteen newly-commissioned essays, written via specialists for scholar readers. an in depth chronology of significant literary achievements concludes with a listing of authors and their dates.

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5. 11 See Steven Gunn, "The Courtiers of Henry VII," in The Tudor Monarchy, ed. John Guy (London: Arnold, 1997), ch. , The English Court: from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War (London: Longman, 1987); David Loades, The Tudor Court, rev. edn. (London: Headstart History, 1992); 26 Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 The sixteenth century 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 and G. R. Elton, "Tudor Government: the Points of Contact: in the Court," in Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government in (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp.

Such writing examines the ideas of the state or the church following the literary techniques introduced into Tudor classrooms by Tudor rhetorics. Through these books and repeated lessons and drills, Henrician humanists promoted a rhetorical culture whereby counselors to the prince were those most educated and eloquent. Similar training was given both lawyers and preachers. Their advice and methods would direct, but not integrate, the works of state and church as well as writings for leisure and reflection.

London in the 15 80s and 1590s generated a giddily accelerated literary history, fueled by competition, by the desire to earn and to win patronage, and by the desire to pass into the magic circle of named, canonical writers. This overheated atmosphere generated many of the anxieties that make authors present their writings as "literary," as a special form of discourse over which they have rights of ownership and control. Some key elements in the vocabulary with which to assert literary ownership emerge in this period: the word "plagiary" first enters the language in Joseph Hall's satires (he has the ghost of Petrarch claiming his own from "a plagiary sonnetwright" in Virgidemiarum 4.

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