Mangum, Anne Books

Reflection of Africa in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama and Poetry
2002 0-7734-1255-7
This study explores literary allusions to Africans against the background of 16th and early 17th century English political values, adding to scholarly knowledge of English priorities during this period of rapid colonization and participation in the slave trade. It examines the lyric poetry of Sidney, Shakespeare, Daniel, Donne, Edward Herbert, Jonson, et al. Dramas include Titus Andronicus, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tamburlaine the Great, Dr. Faustus, Masque of Blackness, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and Oroonoko. The conclusion examines influence on late 20th century values. “This is a most valuable study of a serious and important subject. Dr. Mangum’s clear and objective analysis of material frequently clouded by rationalization is a welcome contribution toward the understanding of vexed and vexing material. The presentation of historical matter to undergird the consideration of various writers and their works is especially helpful. The author’s subject is the treatment of the black African and black itself in Elizabethan and Jacobean literature. Shakespeare in particular is shown to rise above prevailing opinion (exemplified by Elizabeth’s banishment of all “Blackamoors” from her realm) as he moves from Aaron’s unabashed evil to the nobility of Othello. There is, of course, much else of value in this book. Those who read it will be enlightened, informed, and enriched.” – George B. Hallett