The aim of this Companion volume is to provide scholars and advanced graduate students with a comprehensive and authoritative state-of-the-art review of current research work on Anglo-Italian Renaissance studies. Written by a team of international scholars and experts in the field, the chapters are grouped into two large areas of influence and intertextuality, corresponding to the dual way in which early modern England looked upon the Italian world from the English perspective – Part 1: "Italian literature and culture" and Part 2: "Appropriations and ideologies". In the first part, prominent Italian authors, artists, and thinkers are examined as a direct source of inspiration, imitation, and divergence. The variegated English response to the cultural, ideological, and political implications of pervasive Italian intertextuality, in interrelated aspects of artistic and generic production, is dealt with in the second part. Constructed on the basis of a largely interdisciplinary approach, the volume offers an in-depth and wide-ranging treatment of the multifaceted ways in which Italy’s material world and its iconologies are represented, appropriated, and exploited in the literary and cultural domain of early modern England. For this reason, contributors were asked to write essays that not only reflect current thinking but also point to directions for future research and scholarship, while a purposefully conceived bibliography of primary and secondary sources and a detailed index round off the volume.
"This wide-ranging collection brings together the best current work in Anglo-Italian studies and forecasts future developments. Theoretically sophisticated and intellectually rigorous, the essays here treat major and minor figures, works, and genres, all the while illuminating hidden movements and cross-currents in literature, history, theology, and other disciplines. The volume, in toto, documents the reciprocal circulation of energies that powered both the Italian and English Renaissances. Prof. Marrapodi’s international team of distinguished contributors and bright new voices will inspire and guide scholarly conversations for a long time to come."
--Robert S. Miola, Gerard Manley Hopkins Professor of English / Lecturer in Classics Loyola University Maryland
"Reading this new collection, one is taken aback by how extensive and profound the cultural conversation between early modern Italy and England actually was. Preceded by a deeply researched introduction by Michele Marrapodi, the essays manage to anatomize this dauntingly complex field afresh and rethink familiar figures and configurations while adding a host of unfamiliar ones. What emerges is not just the one-way traffic of "influence" but dynamic and layered exchanges both within and between two separate cultures and cultural moments. It is equally good at recounting the Italian rediscovery of ancient figures, such as Seneca and Lucretius (long prior to their English impact), as it is at exploring original Italian cultural inventions such as courtliness, "civil conversation", and reason of state."
-- John Gillies, Professor in Literature, University of Essex
"In this ambitious and extraordinarily useful volume, ably assembled by Michele Marrapodi, distinguished senior and junior scholars from Italy, Great Britain, and North America revisit the crucial questions surrounding the influence of Italy, its literature and its culture on England in the age of Shakespeare. Among the volume's many virtues are its double focus on the original Italian texts and contexts and their appropriation, transformation, and re-visioning in English hands. Equally admirable is its revisitation of the multiple still-valid acquisitions of past scholarship, even while defining the current "state of the field" and its future possibilities. Finally, while the volume’s primary inspiration is literary and especially theatrical, it demonstrates a laudable commitment to probing the "mobilities," ambiguities, and political-ideological-religious investments that inform the complex processes of cultural transmission."
--Albert Russell Ascoli, President, Dante Society of America, Terrill Distinguished Professor, Department of Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
Past, present, and future in Anglo-Italian renaissance studies:
i. Back to the past. Forward to the present
ii. Italy as a stage
iii. Ideology and politics in Italianate revenge drama
iv. Critical approaches to Italian literature and culture
v. Prospects of future developments
vi. This volume: Part one
vii. This volume: Part two
PART I: Italian literature and culture
1. Dante’s Vita Nuova and Petrarchismo: A Critical Review of Contemporary Scholarship
2. Boccaccio’s Decameron and Theatricality
Janet Levarie Smarr
3. Commedia erudita: Birth and Transfiguration
Louise George Clubb
4. Machiavelli’s comedies of "virtù"
5. Senecan Tragedy in the English Renaissance
6. Masters of civility: Castiglione’s Courtier, Della Casa’s Galateo, and Guazzo’s Civil
Conversation in early modern England
Cathy L. Shrank
7. "Did Ariosto write it?" – The Orlando Furioso in Elizabethan poetry
8. The Italian comici and commedia dell'arte
9. Giordano Bruno in England. From London to Rome
10. Italian Pastoral Tragicomedy and English Early Modern Drama
11. The Pastoral Poem and Novel
12. "Oh that we had such an English Tasso": Tasso in English Poetry and Drama to 1700
PART II: Appropriations and ideologies
13. Petrarch in England
14. The Novella and the Art of Story-Telling in the Anglo-Italian Renaissance
15. Shakespeare and the Arts of Painting and Music
16. ‘Absolute Castilio’? The Reputation and Reception of Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier in
17. Machiavelli’s Principe and the New Ethics of Power
18. ‘Boying their greatness’: Transnational Effects of the Italian Divas on the Shakespearean Stage
19. Commedia dell’arte in Early Modern English Drama
20. The Scholarship of Italian and English Renaissance Festivals
J. R. Mulryne
21. John Florio and the Circulation of Italian Culture
22. Heretics, Translators, Intelligencers: Italian Reformers in Tudor England
23. Italy, Printing industry, and the cultural market in Elizabethan England
24. Anglo-Venetian Networks. Paolo Sarpi in Early Modern England
Chiara Petrolini and Diego Pirillo
Location and Narration
Notes on contributors