Representing Masculinity in Early Modern English Satire, 1590–1603:

Representing Masculinity in Early Modern English Satire, 1590–1603

"A Kingdom for a Man", 1st Edition

By Per Sivefors


200 pages

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Hardback: 9780367463519
pub: 2020-03-09
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Engaging with Elizabethan understandings of masculinity, this book examines representations of manhood during the short-lived vogue for verse satire in the 1590s, by poets like John Donne, John Marston, Everard Guilpin and Joseph Hall. While criticism has often used categorical adjectives like "angry" and "Juvenalian" to describe these satires, this book argues that they engage with early modern ideas of manhood in a conflicted and contradictory way that is frequently at odds with patriarchal norms even when they seem to defend them. The book examines the satires from a series of contexts of masculinity such as husbandry and early modern understandings of age, self-control and violence, and suggests that the images of manhood represented in the satires often exist in tension with early modern standards of manhood. Beyond the specific case studies, while satire has often been assumed to be a "male" genre or mode, this is the first study to engage more in depth with the question of how satire is invested with ideas and practices of masculinity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Satire and Masculinity

1. John Donne’s Satires and the Precariousness of Masculine Self-Control

2. Violence and the Male in John Marston’s Certaine Satyres and The Scourge of Villanie

3. The Failure of Husbandry in Joseph Hall’s Virgidemiarum

4. Age and Manhood in Everard Guilpin’s Skialetheia

Coda: The Ban on Satire and the Representation of Masculinity

About the Author

Per Sivefors is Associate Professor of English Literature at Linnaeus University, Sweden.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern Worlds of Knowledge

This series explores Renaissance and Early Modern Worlds of Knowledge (c.1400-c.1700) in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. The volumes published in this series study the individuals, communities and networks involved in making and communicating knowledge during the first age of globalization. Authors investigate the perceptions, practices and modes of behaviour which shaped Renaissance and Early Modern intellectual endeavour and examine the ways in which they reverberated in the political, cultural, social and economic sphere.

The series is interdisciplinary, comparative and global in its outlook. We welcome submissions from new as well as existing fields of Renaissance Studies, including the history of literature (including neo-Latin, European and non-European languages), science and medicine, religion, architecture, environmental and economic history, the history of the book, art history, intellectual history and the history of music. We are particularly interested in proposals that straddle disciplines and are innovative in terms of approach and methodology.

The series includes monographs, shorter works and edited collections of essays. The Society for Renaissance Studies ( provides an expert editorial board, mentoring, extensive editing and support for contributors to the series, ensuring high standards of peer-reviewed scholarship. We welcome proposals from early career researchers as well as more established colleagues.

SRS Board Members: Erik DeBom (KU Leuven, Belgium), Mordechai Feingold (California Institute of Technology, USA), Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), Peter Mack (University of Warwick, UK), Jennifer Richards (University of Newcastle, UK), Stefania Tutino (UCLA, USA), Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, UK)

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact the History Editor, Max Novick ([email protected]), and the Series Editors, Harald Braun ([email protected]) and Emily Michelson ([email protected])

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Renaissance