By Cathy Shrank
Writing the country in Reformation England is an immense second look of English writing among 1530 and 1580. learning authors equivalent to Andrew Borde, John Leland, William Thomas, Thomas Smith, and Thomas Wilson, Cathy Shrank highlights the importance of those many years to the formation of English nationhood and examines the influence of the holiday with Rome at the improvement of a countrywide language, literary type, and canon. in addition to demonstrating the shut dating among literary tradition and English identities, it reinvests Tudor writers with a feeling of company. As authors, counselors, and thinkers they have been energetic electorate partaking inside of, and assisting to form, a countrywide group. within the strategy, their works have been extensively utilized to venture a picture of themselves as authors, playing--and suited for play--their half within the public area. In displaying how those writers engaged with, and promoted, ideas of nationwide identification, the publication makes an important contribution to our broader knowing of the early smooth interval, demonstrating that nationhood was once no longer a later Elizabethan phenomenon, and that the Reformation had a right away impression of English tradition, sooner than England emerged as a "Protestant" country.
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Extra info for Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580
The woodcuts in the Introduction for the opening chapters discussing England’s neighbours—arguably the most significant sections— endorse the pen portraits they accompany. 49 Indeed, the portrait of Skelton that Borde appropriates in the Introduction depicts Skelton garlanded with laurels: whilst Skelton showed a degree of audacity in extending his laureateship from Latin learning to English poetry, as a self-crowned laureate, Borde is more presumptuous still.
62 Bale, Laboryouse Iourney, A4r. 63 Paul Oskar Kristeller, ‘The Cultural Heritage of Humanism: An Overview’, in Albert Rabil Jr. ), Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms and Legacy, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: University of Pennysylvania Press, 1988), iii. 515–28, at 525. 64 Thomas More, ‘Letter to Oxford University’, ed. Daniel Kinney, The Complete Works of St. , xv; cf. Kinney, introduction, xv, pp. xlvi–lxxi. 65 Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: More to Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 1.
His depictions of England as an island of plenty echo those of Borde. The inspiration he draws from the achievements of the Italian vernacular, though, demonstrates the change in emphasis away from the purely classical traditions, whilst his shrewd readings of Machiavelli, adapted to suit England’s particular political circumstances, throw light on the pressures of portraying a defiantly independent nation in an age of minority, a time of obvious weakness. The Welsh-born Thomas here exemplifies the eagerness with which many of the Welsh gentry embraced union with England.
Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580 by Cathy Shrank