Taking into consideration the political and literary issues hanging upon the circulation of Machiavelli's works in England, this volume highlights how topics and ideas stemming from Machiavelli's books - including but not limited to the Prince - strongly influenced the contemporary political debate. The first section discusses early reactions to Machiavelli's works, focusing on authors such as Reginald Pole and William Thomas, depicting their complex interaction with Machiavelli. In section two, different features of Machiavelli's reading in Tudor literary and political culture are discussed, moving well beyond the traditional image of the tyrant or of the evil Machiavel. Machiavelli's historiography and republicanism and their influences on Tudor culture are discussed with reference to topical authors such as Walter Raleigh, Alberico Gentili, Philip Sidney; his role in contemporary dramatic writing, especially as concerns Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, is taken into consideration. The last section explores Machiavelli's influence on English political culture in the seventeenth century, focusing on reason of state and political prudence, and discussing writers such as Henry Parker, Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, Thomas Hobbes and Anthony Ascham. Overall, contributors put Machiavelli's image in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England into perspective, analyzing his role within courtly and prudential politics, and the importance of his ideological proposal in the tradition of republicanism and parliamentarianism.
Alessandra Petrina is associate professor of English Literature at the UniversitÃ degli Studi di Padova, Italy. She has written on late-medieval and Renaissance comparative literature and intellectual history. Alessandro Arienzo is senior lecturer in Political Philosophy at the University of Naples ’Federico II’, Italy. He has published on early modern reason of state and on contemporary political governance.
'... this is a well-produced and lucidly written collection, which deserves to be read by scholars interested in early modern political thought, the English face of MachiÂavelli, and Anglo-Italian literary, intellectual, and cultural relations.' SHARP News 'From this collective effort the diverse, complex and controversial figure of Machiavelli emerges. This volume demonstrates the impacts of his theories throughout the centuries and the continuous, evolving mutations of the debate which have surrounded his work.' Journal of the Northern Renaissance