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Early Modern English Poetry

A Critical Companion

Edited by Patrick Cheney, Andrew Hadfield, and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr.

Publication Date - August 2006

ISBN: 9780195153873

368 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $104.99

Early Modern English Poetry provides an accessible introduction to a key selection of canonical poetic works in English and to historical and cultural topics that illuminate them.


Early Modern English Poetry: A Critical Companion presents twenty-eight original essays on the major poems of the English Renaissance. Each essay is written by a leading scholar and examines a poem in the context of an important topic in early modern culture. The selections provide groundbreaking scholarship on subjects ranging from the invention of English verse, Petrarchism, pastoral, elegy, and satire to women's religious verse, the politics of town, the place of homoeroticism, and Cavalier poetry.
An ideal supplement to both primary texts and anthologies of Renaissance literature, Early Modern English Poetry offers fresh approaches to poems by Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Aemilia Lanyer, John Donne, John Milton, and many others. The first three chapters set the rest of the volume in context with coverage of the sixteenth-century invention of verse, print and manuscript culture in early modern England, and Renaissance treatises on the art of poetry. The remaining chapters are structured around authors and their works--which are each related to a specific issue in early modern culture--and organized chronologically according to the dates of composition or publication of the poems discussed. This innovative and flexible design corresponds perfectly with courses in which students first read a primary text and then expand their understanding of the work with detailed critical commentary. The book is enhanced by a general introduction, recommended reading lists at the end of each chapter, and a chronology of Renaissance poetry tailored to the book's contents. Early Modern English Poetry provides an accessible introduction both to a key selection of canonical poetic works in English and to historical and cultural topics that illuminate them.


"In this densely packed, compact book, Kendall covers a great deal of territory, and delivers extremely sharp and insightful judgments and distinctions that also have the virtue of being relatively brief and pithy."--Stephen E. Tabachnick, English in Literary Transition

"An enjoyable read with potentially immense pedagogical value." --Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

    Contents: Thematic and Generic
    Select Chronology, 1503-1681
    Introduction: Reading Renaissance Poetry
    1. Inventing English Verse, Susanne Woods
    2. Print, Manuscripts, and Miscellanies, Arthur F. Marotti
    3. Tudor and Stuart Defenses of Poetry, Peter C. Herman
    4. Wyatt, Surrey, and the Henrician Court, Catherine Bates
    5. Spenser's May Eclogue and Mid-Tudor Religious Poetry, John N. King
    6. Early Courtier Verse: Oxford, Dyer, and Gascoigne, Steven May
    7. Sidney's Astrophil and Stella and Petrarchism, William J. Kennedy
    8. Spenserian Pastoral, Bart van Es
    9. Spenser's Poetry and the Apocalypse, John Watkins
    10. Spenser, Virginity, and Sexuality, Elizabeth D. Harvey
    11. Raleigh, the Queen, and Elizabethan Court Poetry, William A. Oram
    12. Marlowe's Erotic Verse, Alan Sinfield
    13. Literary Criticism, Literary History, and the Place of Homoeroticism, Jonathan Goldberg
    14. "The Phoenix and the Turtle," Renaissance Elegies, and the Language of Grief, Lynn Enterline
    15. Shakespeare's Literary Career and Narrative Poetry, Patrick Cheney
    16. Shakespeare's Sonnets and English Sonnet Sequences, Sasha Roberts
    17. Mary Sidney Herbert and Women's Religious Verse, Danielle Clarke
    18. Lady Mary Wroth and Women's Love Poetry, Naomi J. Miller
    19. Donne's Songs and Sonets and Artistic Identity, Andrew Hadfield
    20. Satire and the Politics of Town, Andrew McRae
    21. Donne's Religious Poetry and the Trauma of Grace, Achsah Guibbory
    22. Lanyer and the Poetry of Land and Devotion, Helen Wilcox
    23. Jonson, King, and Court, Julie Sanders
    24. Herbert, God, and King, Michael Schoenfeldt
    25. Crashaw and Religious Bias in the Literary Canon, Lowell Gallagher
    26. Cavalier Poetry and Civil War, Laura Lunger Knoppers
    27. Marvell and Pastoral, Thomas Healy
    28. Milton, the Nativity Ode, the Companion Poems, and Lycidas, Barbara K. Lewalski
    Notes on Contributors

Related Titles

The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe
The Oxford Anthology of English Literature

The Oxford Anthology of English Literature

John Hollander and Frank Kermode