Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama Series Number 41
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Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama Series Number 41

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Description

What role does food and cooking play in how people imagine themselves and their communities? In this book Wendy Wall argues that representations of housework in the early modern period helped to forge crucial conceptions of national identity. Rich with a detailed account of household practices in the period, Staging Domesticity reads plays on the London stage in the light of the first printed cookbooks in England. Working from original historical sources on wetnursing, laundering, sewing, medical care and butchery, Wall shows that domesticity was represented as deeply familiar but also enticingly alien. Wall analyses a wide range of the repertoire, including some now little-known plays, as well as key works in the period by Shakespeare and others. Wall concludes that, rather than dramatizations of only court-based and aristocratic domestic life, literature of the period drew on work from the more common household.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 308 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 20mm | 460g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 15 Halftones, unspecified
  • 052103003X
  • 9780521030038

Table of contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction: in the nations' kitchen; 1. Familiarity and pleasure in the English household guide, 1500-1700; 2. Needles and birches: pedagogy, domesticity, and the advent of English comedy; 3. Why does Puck sweep? Shakespearean fairies and the politics of cleaning; 4. The erotics of milk and live food, or, ingesting early modern Englishness; 5. Tending to bodies and boys: queer physic in Knight of the Burning Pestle; 6. Blood in the kitchen: service, taste, and violence in domestic drama; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

"Wall's book usefully complicates and deepens the field...[Wall] produces illuminating interpretations of the dramatic texts she scrutinizes and also of the gendered social dynamics of early modern England." Renaissance Quarterly "Wall's book deserves widespread attention." Modern Language Quarterly "Easily the most engaging, most thoroughly enjoyable study of the year...a learned, beautifully written 'must read' jam-packed...with fascinating detail..Buy this book." Studies in English Literature "In a beautifully sustained argument, Wall offers powerful, detailed renderings of household practices ... and equally intriguing interpretations of the emergence of the household in drama identifying itself as 'English'.... Essential for libraries serving graduate students and researchers." Choice
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About Wendy Wall

Wendy Wall is Associate Professor of English Literature at Northwestern University and a scholar of early modern literature and culture. She is the author of The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Cornell University Press, 1993) and co-editor of the journal Renaissance Drama. Wall has published widely on print technology, voyeurism, women's writing, poetry, housework, and early modern culture.
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Rating details

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