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Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510–1613
Merry Worlds

$80.00 USD

  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108627603

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  • For many people in early modern England the Reformation turned the past into another country: the 'merry world'. Nostalgia for this imaginary time, both widespread and widely contested, was commodified by a burgeoning entertainment industry. This book offers a new perspective on the making of 'Merry England', arguing that it was driven both by the desires of audiences and the marketing strategies of writers, publishers and playing companies. Nostalgia in Print and Performance juxtaposes plays with ballads and pamphlets, just as they were experienced by their first consumers. It argues that these commercial fictions played a central role in promoting and shaping nostalgia. At the same time, the fantasy of the merry world offered a powerfully affective language for conceptualising longing. For playwrights like Shakespeare and others writing for the commercial stage, it became a way to think through the dynamics of audience desire and the aesthetics of repetition.

    • Challenges existing historiography to offer a new insight into the invention of 'Merry England' in the sixteenth century
    • Explores the relationship between early modern broadside ballads and the theatre
    • Reframes the ostensibly limiting components of broadside ballads - repetition and conventionality - as key to their appeal
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Harriet Phillips' study is an exceptionally fine work. Her readings of individual literary texts, canonical and non-canonical alike, are consistently sharp, and are elegantly placed at the service of the wider argument. This book will be ranked among the most important recent studies of the place of the past in early modern England.' Philip Schwyzer, University of Exeter

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108627603
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the merry worlds of merry England
    1. Merry worlds: Tudor nostalgia
    2. Dreamless art for the people: cheap print and catharsis
    3. Common people: drama and dialogue
    4. Martin and anti-Martin, 1588–90
    5. Merry histories, 1598–99
    6. Shakespeare's Ballads, 1598–1610
    7. The merry worlds of Windsor in 1600
    Epilogue.

  • Author

    Harriet Phillips, Queen Mary University of London
    Harriet Phillips is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English at Queen Mary University of London. Her research focuses on literature, popular culture and book history between 1500 and 1800. Her work has appeared in Shakespeare, Review of English Studies, Renaissance Studies, Parergon and Studies in Philology. She co-edited A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts (2018), and is co-editing Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica (forthcoming).

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