In the first edition of this now-classic text, Richard Peterson offered an important revaluation of the poetry of Ben Jonson and a new appreciation of the way in which the classical doctrine of imitation-the creative use of the thoughts and words of predecessors-permeates and shapes Jonson's critical ideas and his work as a whole. The publication of the original book in 1981 led to a reinterpretation of the poems and a coherent view of Jonson's philosophy; the resulting portrait of Jonson served as a corrective to earlier views based primarily on the satiric poems and plays. This second edition of Imitation and Praise in the Poems of Ben Jonson makes Peterson's important scholarship available to a new generation of scholars and students.
'This is a book that makes Jonson into the first-rate poet he was and gives us a critical vocabulary that enforces that option.' Renaissance Quarterly 'By providing depth and relevance to Jonson’s energetic and allusive style, Peterson elucidates, transforms, and universalizes Jonson’s poems of imitation and praise.' Sixteenth Century Journal Praise for the first edition: 'Scholarly criticism at its best: learned, well-written, compactly organized, shedding fresh light on every page upon a subject now revealed almost for the first time in its truly inexhaustible richness.' Thomas M. Greene 'One feels like a witness of Jonson in the process of creation. I can think of no other book that handles sources so imaginatively.' Thomas P. Roche, Jr., Princeton University, USA
Contents: Preface; Note to the second edition; Note on editions and translations; The turn: imitation and praise; The stand: noble natures raised; The full circle: poet as vessel; Well-turned and true-filed lines: Jonson on Shakespeare; Turn, counter-turn and stand: the ode on Cary and Morison; Afterword; Bibliography; Index.