This volume focuses on the relationship between writing and public concerns in seventeenth-century England before, during, and after the civil wars and revolution of the mid-century. The distinguished list of contributors represent a variety of disciplines - political science, social and political history and literary critics - but they share an intense concern with the relationship between the act of writing and the political and public issues of this extraordinary period. The essays suggest that in the seventeenth century the private and public intersected so thoroughly that ostensibly 'private' writing was engaged with public issues and public rhetoric, while on the other hand, political writing was deeply involved with questions of style and inward conscience. This volume illuminates the complex issues of 'public' and 'private', 'art' and 'conscience' in the seventeenth century.
"Astute new insights...clearly written, thoughtful, and compelling." Renaissance Quarterly "It amply justifies the editors' claim that old-fashioned formalistic analysis can still provide a valuable tool of historical research. Jackson Cope provides an interesting analysis of the allegorical autobiography of the courtier Sir Kenelm Digby." H-Net Reviews "This is a thoroughly rewarding collection..." Sixteenth Century Journal