The Early Modern Grotesque: English Sources and Documents 1500-1700, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Early Modern Grotesque

English Sources and Documents 1500-1700, 1st Edition

By Liam E Semler


322 pages

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Hardback: 9781138366589
pub: 2018-10-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429401138
pub: 2018-10-26
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The Early Modern Grotesque: English Sources and Documents 1500-1700 offers readers a large and fully annotated collection of primary source texts addressing the grotesque in the English Renaissance. The sources are arranged chronologically in 120 numbered items with accompanying explanatory Notes. Each Note provides clarification of difficult terms in the source text, locating it in the context of early modern English and Continental discourses on the grotesque. The Notes also direct readers to further English sources and relevant modern scholarship. This volume includes a detailed introduction surveying the vocabulary, form and meaning of the grotesque from its arrival as a word, concept and aesthetic in 16th century England to its early maturity in the 18th century. The Introduction, Items and Notes, complemented by illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography, provide an unprecedented view of the evolving complexity and diversity of the early modern English grotesque.

While giving due credit to Wolfgang Kayser and Mikhail Bakhtin as masters of grotesque theory, this ground-breaking book aims to provoke new, evidence-based approaches to understanding the specifically English grotesque. The textual archive from 1500-1700 is a rich and intriguing record that offers much to interested readers and researchers in the fields of literary studies, theatre studies and art history.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Abbreviations and a Note on Shakespeare


The Purpose and Scope of this Book

Navigating this Collection

The Arrival of the Grotesque in England

The Grotesque in English Visual Arts

The Grotesque in English Theatricality

The Vocabulary of the Grotesque

Genres, Authors and Theories of the Grotesque

Sources and Documents

Chronological List of all Items in this Collection



About the Author

Liam E. Semler is Professor of Early Modern Literature at The University of Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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