By Alex Davis
Chivalry and Romance in Renaissance England deals a reinterpretation of where and importance of chivalric tradition within the 16th and seventeenth-century and explores the consequences of this reconfigured interpretation for an figuring out of the medieval in general. obtained knowledge has it that either chivalric tradition and the literature of chivalry - romances - have been out of date by the point of the Renaissance, an knowing epitomised by means of the determine of Don Quixote, the reader of chivalric fictions whose risible literary tastes render him absurd. in terms of distinction, this examine reveals proof for the continuing power and relevance of chivalric values in any respect degrees of 16th- and seventeenth-century society, from the courtroom entertainments of Elizabeth I to the civic tradition of London retailers and artisans. even as, it charts the method through which, in the course of the eighteenth and 19th centuries, the chivalric has been to begin with solely pointed out with the medieval after which remodeled right into a digital shorthand for 'pastness' regularly. ALEX DAVIS is lecturer in English, college of St Andrews.
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Extra info for Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance (Studies in Renaissance Literature)
It is simply not the case, it is suggested, that the Quixotes of the Jacobean stage necessarily signalled historical transgression or anachronism. Modernity does not seem to be an issue in these plays’ representations of false knights and Quixotic readers. Rather, it is matters of social transgression that excite Jacobean dramatists – and which the parvenu knight who has no right to the status he aspires to so vividly embodies. Seventeenth-century London, it is emphasised, was a place where social contests were played out through chivalric forms – as, for instance, in the assertion of citizen honour through annual archery contests in which the participants adopted Arthurian personae.
Essays (London: Edmund Mattes, 1600), sig. I8r. The Arte of English Poesie, ed. D. Willcock and A. Walker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. 42; see also p. 83. 111 John Milton was another youthful reader of romances. 112 The same was true of Thomas Hobbes, who, after leaving Oxford, found employment as a servant to the Earl of Devonshire (his duties included riding ‘a hunting and hawking’ with his master). 114 Nor were high and low audiences mutually exclusive. Merchants, too, were interested in chivalric literature, just as much as gentlemen.
Trübner, 1867–8), 3 volumes, I: xii–ix. G. for John Rothwell, 1642), sigs. B4v–C1r. Milton’s father also wrote a prefatory poem to his friend John Lane’s Corrected Historie of Guy of Warwick, praising Guy as an exemplary Christian figure. See Velma Bourgeois Richmond, The Legend of Guy of Warwick (New York and London: Garland, 1996). See Aubrey’s Brief Lives, ed. Oliver Lawson Dick (London: Secker and Warburg, 1958), p. 149. Hobbes later considered this period as lost time; Aubrey counters that his reading might have furnished him with ‘copie of words’.
Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance (Studies in Renaissance Literature) by Alex Davis
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