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Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry


Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry combines close readings of individual poems with a critical consideration of the historical context in which they were written. Informative and original, this book has been carefully designed to enable readers to understand, enjoy, and be inspired by sixteenth-century poetry.
  • Close reading of a wide variety of sixteenth-century poems, canonical and non-canonical, by men and by women, from print and manuscript culture, across the major literary modes and genres
  • Poems read within their historical context, with reference to five major cultural revolutions: Renaissance humanism, the Reformation, the modern nation-state, companionate marriage, and the scientific revolution
  • Offers in-depth discussion of Skelton, Wyatt, Surrey, Isabella Whitney, Gascoigne, Philip Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Mary Sidney Herbert, Donne, and Shakespeare
  • Presents a separate study of all five of Shakespeare’s major poems - Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, 'The Phoenix and Turtle,' the Sonnets, and A Lover's Complaint- in the context of his dramatic career
  • Discusses major works of literary criticism by Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Philip Sidney, George Puttenham, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Seamus Heaney, Adrienne Rich, and Helen Vendler

About the Author

Patrick Cheney is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Penn State University. He is the author of books on Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Spenser, most recently Shakespeare’s Literary Authorship (2008) and Marlowe’s Republican Authorship: Lucan, Liberty, and the Sublime (2009). He has also edited Cambridge Companions to Marlowe and Shakespeare’s Poetry, co-edited Oxford Companions to early modern English poetry and drama, and co-edited an Oxford edition of Marlowe’s poems. Currently, he serves as a General Editor of The Oxford Edition of the Collected Works of Edmund Spenser.

Table of Contents


The Pleasures and Uses of Sixteenth-Century Poetry.

Part I 1500–1558. Reading Early Tudor Poetry: Henrician, Edwardian, Marian.

1 Voice.

The Poetic Style of Character: Plain and Eloquent Speaking.

2 Perception.

The Crisis of the Reformation, or, What the Poet Sees: Self, Beloved, God.

3 World.

The Poet’s Ecology of Place: Sky, Sea, Soil.

4 Form.

The Idea of a Poem: Elegy, Pastoral, Sonnet, Satire, Epic.

5 Career.

The Role of the Poet in Society: Skelton, Wyatt, and Surrey.

Part II 1558–1600. Reading Elizabethan Poetry.

6 Voice.

The Poetic Style of Character: From Plain Eloquence to the Metaphysical Sublime.

7 Perception.

What the Poet Sees, and the Advent of Modern Personage: Desire, Idolatry, Transport, Partnership.

8 World.

The Poet’s Ecology of Place: Cosmos, Colony, Country.

9 Form.

Fictions of Poetic Kind: Pastoral, Sonnet, Epic, Minor Epic, Hymn.

10 Career.

The Role of the Poet in Society: Whitney, Spenser, and Marlowe.

Part III A Special Case.

11 Shakespeare: Voice, Perception, World, Form, Career.


Retrospective Poetry: Donne and the End of Sixteenth-Century Poetry.



Product Details

English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Cheney, Patrick
16th Century English Literature
Literary Criticism : English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Poetry : English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
250 x 150 x 15 mm 24 oz

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry
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Product details 352 pages Wiley-Blackwell - English 9781444396553 Reviews:
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