Synopses & Reviews
The seventeenth century was a dramatic period in British history, witnessing two revolutions, huge constitutional change, the widening of the political and literary classes, and the gradual acceptance of women as authors. This easy-to-use Handbook offers readers a succinct overview of this complex period, guiding them through the principal literary works, figures and innovations of the time. Focusing on studying texts in context, Marshall Grossman explores the ways in which major works, including Hamlet, Paradise Lost and The Pilgrim's Progress, both reflected and helped to shape the history of the time, while concise sections on topics such as the Gunpowder Plot and the Pamphlet Wars allow the reader to engage more fully with the central themes and preoccupations of the period. Concluding with a series of brief biographical profiles describing the life and works of the century's most significant and influential writers, The Seventeenth-Century Literature Handbook is essential reading for anyone interested in British Literature across the civil war and restoration periods.
"Never a dull read, Marshall Grossman's elegant volume bristles with sharp ideas to inform, stimulate and challenge his audience."
—Thomas Corns, Bangor University
The Seventeenth Century Handbook
provides the undergraduate with a succinct account of the century’s events, along with an exploration of the ways the literature reflected and helped shape the history of the time.
- Provides a coherent narrative of the entire century of literary history as well as an easy-to-use guide to the principal literary works and figures
- Offers an exploration of the ways the literature reflected and helped shape the history of the time
- Describes the continuities as well as the radical changes in this century of civil war and reformation
- Combines a central narrative account of “texts and contexts” with a selection of brief essays on key texts and topics
- Includes an alphabetical selection of capsule descriptions of important writers
About the Author
Marshall Grossman is Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He is the author of The Story of All Things: Writing the Self in English Renaissance Narrative Poetry (1998) and 'Authors to Themselves': Milton and the Revelation of History (1987); he is editor of two collections of essays, Reading Renaissance Ethics (2007) and Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon (1998). He is currently completing a book on Milton and rational religion.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Texts and Contexts: An Overview.
Reading the Historical Landscape.
Renaissance and/or Reformation: From Elizabeth to James.
New Science Leaves All in Doubt.
Business and Trade.
Breaking the State.
The Short Reign of James II and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
The Production of Culture in the Seventeenth Century.
Part 2 Topics in Seventeenth-Century Literature.
Aemilia Lanyer and the Gendering of Genre.
Changing Conventions: Hamlet and The Alchemist.
Pamphlet Wars: To Kill a King!
Everything Happens Twice.
Part 3 Some Key Texts.
The Winter's Tale.
The Pilgrim's Progress.
Part 4 Writers of the Seventeenth Century.
Astell, Mary (1666–1731).
Bacon, Francis (1561–1626).
Baxter, Richard (1615–1691).
Beaumont, Francis (1584–1616).
Behn, Aphra (1640?–1689).
Boyle, Robert (1627–1691).
Browne, Sir Thomas (1605–1682).
Bunyan, John (1628–1688).
Burton, Robert (1577–1640).
Carew, Thomas (1594/5–1640).
Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle (1623–1673).
Cowley, Abraham (1618–1667).
Crashaw, Richard (1613–1648).
Davenant, Sir William (1606–1668).
Donne, John (1572–1631).
Dryden, John (1631–1700).
Filmer, Sir Robert (1588–1653).
Fletcher, John (1579–1625).
Fox, George (1624–1691).
Hartlib, Samuel (1600–1662).
Herbert, George (1593–1633).
Herrick, Robert (1591–1674).
Hobbes, Thomas (1588–1679).
Hutchinson, Lucy (1620–1681).
Hyde, Edward, First Earl of Clarendon (1609–1674).
Jonson, Ben (1572–1637).
Lanyer, Aemilia (1569–1645).
Locke, John (1632–1704).
Lovelace, Richard (1617–1657).
Marvell, Andrew (1621–1678).
Middleton, Thomas (1580–1627).
Milton, John (1608–1674).
Otway, Thomas (1652–1685).
Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703).
Philips, Katherine (1632–1664).
Shadwell, Thomas (1640–1692).
Shakespeare, William (1564–1616).
Suckling, Sir John (1609–1641).
Traherne, Thomas (1637–1674).
Vaughan, Henry (1621–1695).
Webster, John (1578?–1638?).
Wilmot, John, Earl of Rochester (1647–1680).
Wroth, Lady Mary (1587–1653?).