Recurring to the governing idea of her 2005 study Shakespeare on the Edge, Lisa Hopkins expands the parameters of her investigation beyond England to include the Continent, and beyond Shakespeare to include a number of dramatists ranging from Christopher Marlowe to John Ford. Hopkins also expands her notion of liminality to explore not only geographical borders, but also the intersection of the material and the spiritual more generally, tracing the contours of the edge which each inhabits. Making a journey of its own by starting from the most literally liminal of physical structures, walls, and ending with the wholly invisible and intangible, the idea of the divine, this book plots the many and various ways in which, for the Renaissance imagination, metaphysical overtones accrued to the physically liminal.
Contents: Introduction; Part I What is an Edge?: Walls: the edge of territory; Peter or Paul? The edge of the state. Part II The Edge of the Nation: Sex on the edge; ’Gate of Spain’: the southern edge of France; ’Pas de Calais’: the northern edge of France. Part III Invisible Edges: The edge of heaven; Jewels and the edge of the skin; The edge of the world. Conclusion; Works cited; Index.