E 392M • LITERATURE AND HISTORY: FAMOUS PROBLEMS OF THE RENAISSANCE
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course will provide an introduction to historicist study of 16th and 17th-century English literature. It will present both familiar and unfamiliar texts, writers, and genres, and will include substantial attention to the materials of the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I as well as to the more familiar matter of Elizabeth I and James. Texts of a "literary" and "historical" nature will be read concurrently throughout. Since the course will also function to some degree as an introduction to the period, representations of the cultural center will make up the core of the class.
(1) The religious and erotic politics of Henry VIII More, Utopia the divorce and the English Reformation; Lives of More and Wolsey; Henrician incest the poems of Wyatt and Surrey Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and sexual treason; the treason trials and statutes the Lisle Letters (2) Religious politics after Henry VIII Somerset and Northumberland; Gray of Reading popular rebellions: Sir Thomas Wyatt the Marian martyrs and Foxe's Acts and Monuments Tottel's Miscellany (3) Queen Elizabeth, Spain, and the Low Countries Sidney: The Lady of May, Astrophil and Stella, letters Queen Elizabeth and Alençon; Sidney's letter and Stubbes's Gaping Gulf the Spanish war: the Low Countries; the Armada; The Spanish Tragedy (4) The Essex Rebellion Essex as consort Bacon's Life and Letters record Richard II the treason trial (5) The erotics of James's court "secret histories": Weldon, Osborne Chamberlain's letters the Howard/Overbury affair: divorce and murder Italianate court tragedy: Webster and Middleton