Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England

Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England

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Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England provides an account of the political thought and culture of Elizabethan and early Stuart England. It examines the centrality of humanist rhetoric in the pre-revolutionary educational system and its vital contribution to the political culture of the period. Humanism, Markku Peltonen argues, was crucial to the development of the participatory character of English politics as schoolboys were taught how to speak about taxation and foreign policy, liberty and tyranny. A series of case studies illustrates how pre-revolutionary Englishmen used the rhetorical tools their schoolmasters had taught them in political and parliamentary debates. The common people and the multitude were the orator's chief audience and eloquence was often seen as a popular art. However, there were also those who followed these developments with growing dismay and Peltonen examines further the ways in which populist elements in political rhetoric were questioned in pre-revolutionary England.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139848356
  • 9781139848350

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. Rhetoric, Citizenship and Popularity: 1. Rhetoric, power and citizenship; 2. Rhetoric and popularity; 3. Rhetoric, news and politics; 4. The adversary politics of rhetoric; Part II. Rhetoric, Politics and Parliaments: 5. Rhetoric, politics and the people in the 1570s; 6. Rhetoric, royal marriage and John Stubbe; 7. Rhetoric and Elizabethan parliaments; 8. Rhetoric, the Union and impositions in parliament, 1607-10; 9. Rhetoric and adversary politics in the 1620s; 10. Rhetoric, war and the grievances of the people in parliament, 1625-8; Epilogue: rhetoric, monarchy and sedition.show more

Review quote

'It easily achieves its aims of asserting the centrality of rhetoric in prerevolutionary England and redefining exactly what that rhetoric was. But it also adds a new dimension to the debate on the popular political participation and breathes fresh life into the vigorous debate on early seventeenth-century politics. It demonstrates further ways in which those outside the governing elite were engaged in politics and, by establishing how men were educated, creates a foundation for reassessing the complex relationship between ideology, thought, and action with which historians have grappled for so long.' Natalie Mears, Renaissance Quarterlyshow more

About Markku Peltonen

Markku Peltonen is Professor of General History (chair founded in 1640) at the University of Helsinki. He has been a member of the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Mellon Fellow at The Huntington Library, San Marino, California and President of the Finnish Historical Society. His publications include Classical Humanism and Republicanism in English Political Thought, 1570-1640 (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and The Duel in Early Modern England: Civility, Politeness and Honour (Cambridge University Press, 2003). He also edited The Cambridge Companion to Bacon (Cambridge University Press, 1996).show more

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