ENGL 340 A1: Early Modern Literature and Culture: 17th-Century Texts

S. Brown

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Shakespeare was writing his plays and King James I was ruling as a self-declared absolute ruler. By the end of the same century, England had experienced civil war and revolution, the beheading of James' son and successor Charles, and the establishment of a more limited parliamentary democracy recognizable to us today. In its literature and culture, the end of the century likewise produced emergent versions of the novel, the poetry of feeling, autobiography, and 'modern' partisan political satire. Finally, the proliferation of cheap print in this period made possible the participation of the formerly disenfranchised - artisans, apprentices, women - in the production of books and pamphlets and, adjacently, in public political life. We will take this century of seismic cultural, social, and political change as our archive for a rich selection of poetry and prose, diary extracts and letters, scandalous news and apocalyptic prophecy.

Text to be ordered through the University Bookstore

The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose, ed. Alan Rudrum, Joseph Black & Holly Faith Nelson (Broadview Press)