This book, the first single volume to collate essays about sixteenth and seventeenth century poetry, explores the remarkable changes that have occurred in the interpretation of English Renaissance poetry in the last twenty years. In the introduction Cristina Malcolmson argues that recent critical approaches have transformed traditional accounts of literary history by analysing the role of poetry in nationalism, the changing associations of poetry and class-status, and the rediscovered writings of women. The collection represents many of the critical methodologies which have contributed to these changes: new historicism, cultural materialism, feminism, and an historically informed psychoanalytic criticism. In particular, three diverse readings of Spenser's 'Bower of Bliss' canto illustrate the different approaches of formalist close-reading, new historicist analysis of cultural imperialism and feminist interpretations of the relation of gender and power. The further reading section categorizes recent work according to issues and critical approaches.
Table of Contents
General Editors Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Lyric and History Recent Historicist Approaches and Traditional Scholarship New Historicism and Cultural Materialism Feminism Psychoanalysis Race Studies
Lesbian/Gay Studies Organization of the Volume Part One: The Bower of Bliss: Formalism, New Historicism, Feminism 1. Paul J. Alphers, 'Mode in Narrative Poetry' 2. Stephen J. Greenblatt, 'To Fashion a Gentleman: Spenser and the Bower of Bliss' 3. Patricia A. Parker, 'Suspended Instruments: Lyric and Power in the Bower of Bliss' Part Two: The Lyric and the Early Modern Subject 4. Nancy J. Vickers, 'Diana Described: Scattered Women and Scattered Rhyme' 5. Richard C. McCoy, 'Astrophil and Stella: "All Selfnesse He Forbeares"' 6. Margaret W. Ferguson, 'A Room Not Their Own: Renaissance Women as Readers and Writers' 7. Don E. Wayne, 'Mediation and Contestation: English Classicism from Sidney to Jonson' Part Three: Seventeenth-Century Poetry and History 8. Cristina Malcolmson, 'George Herbert and Coteries Verse' 9. Richard L. Halpern, 'Puritanism and Maenadism in A Mask' 10.David Norbrook, 'Marvell's "Horatian Ode" and the Politics of Genre' Notes on Authors Further Reading Index
Cristina Malcolmson is Professor of English at Bates College, USA.