Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580

Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580

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Writing the Nation in Reformation England is a major re-evaluation of English writing between 1530 and 1580. Studying authors such as Andrew Borde, John Leland, William Thomas, Thomas Smith, and Thomas Wilson, Cathy Shrank highlights the significance of these decades to the formation of English nationhood and examines the impact of the break with Rome on the development of a national language, literary style, and canon. As well as demonstrating the close
relationship between literary culture and English identities, it reinvests Tudor writers with a sense of agency. As authors, counsellors, and thinkers they were active citizens participating within, and helping to shape, a national community. In the process, their works were also used to project an image of
themselves as authors, playing - and fitted to play - their part in the public domain. In showing how these writers engaged with, and promoted, concepts of national identity, the book makes a significant contribution to our broader understanding of the early modern period, demonstrating that nationhood was not a later Elizabethan phenomenon, and that the Reformation had an immediate impact of English culture, before England emerged as a 'Protestant' nation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 146 x 223 x 22mm | 497g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199268886
  • 9780199268887

Table of contents

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Review quote

This is an excellent book, clearly written and meticulously researched. * A.DiMatteo, New York Institute of Technology, ChoiceReview.online * Shrank treats the writers in depth and in doing so impressively extends the scholarship of Andrew Hadfield (Literature, Politics and National Identity, CH, May'95, 32-4924), Richard Helgerson (Forms of Nationhood, 1992), and Patrick Collinson (The Birthpangs of Protestant England, 1988). * A. DiMatteo, New York Institute of Technology, ChoiceReview.online * Shrank (Univ. of Aberdeen) offers a fresh, important study of seven key figures in English humanism from the time of Henry VIII's Act in Restraint of Appeals to the publishing of Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender and Sidney's composing of the Old Arcadia. * A. DiMatteo, New York Institute of Technology, ChoiceReview.online * 'the book makes a powerful case for the importance of a period once labelled by C.S. Lewis as "the Drab Age" of English Literature.' * Bart Van Es, TLS * Writing the Nation represents a powerful and stimulating contribution to the reassessment of the literary history of the reformation era. * Scottish Journal of Theology *
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