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, counselors, 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.
...this book provides excellent studies of significant works, and their authors, from a still obscure period of English literary history. Thomas S. Freeman, Journal of Ecclesiastical History '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 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 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 This is an excellent book, clearly written and meticulously researched. A.DiMatteo, New York Institute of Technology, ChoiceReview.online
1: Andrew Borde: Authorship and Identity in Reformation England
2: John Leland and the Bowels of Antiquity
3: William Thomas and the Riches of the Vulgar Tongue
4: Thomas Smith and the Senate of Letters
5: Thomas Wilson and the Limits of English Rhetoric
6: Workshops of the New Poetry: The 'Shepheardes Calender' and 'Old Arcadia'
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 1st October 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.6
Weight (kg): 0.5