Fortification and Its Discontents from Shakespeare to Milton gives new coherence to the literature of the early modern Atlantic world by placing it in the context of radical changes to urban space following the Italian War of 1494-1498. The new walled city that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on both sides of the Atlantic provided an outlet for a wide range of humanistic fascinations with urban design, composition, and community organization, but it also promoted centrality of control and subordinated the human environment to military functionality. Examining William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, John Winthrop, and John Milton, this volume shows how the literature of England and New England explores and challenges the new walled city as England struggled to define the sprawling metropolis of London, translate English urban spaces into Ireland and North America, and, later, survive a long civil war.
Adam N. McKeown is an Associate Professor of English at Tulane University in New Orleans, USA. His research focuses on the intersections between textual, visual, and military culture in early modern England and early colonial New England. Shortly after receiving his PhD from New York University he was recalled to military service, and his experiences teaching Shakespeare to soldiers while on deployment have been featured on National Public Radio. He is the author of English Mercuries: Soldier Poets in the Age of Shakespeare (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009).