Subject Area: Renaissance Studies

An Anthology of Commendatory Verse From the English Renaissance
2005 0-7734-6206-6
Commendatory poems are a type of praise-poetry, written by one author to accompany the work of another. The poems were printed in the same volume as the work they commend, to which the author refers to as the subject work. The majority of English Renaissance commendatory verse-which forms the majority of all such verse-has been out of print since its original publication.

This volume would be the first general anthology of commendatory poems, making these works for the first time widely and readily available for the study that they deserve and that has been so long overdue. The volume contains a cross-section of poems from authors both celebrated and obscure, taken from works from a variety of genres; all such verse attached to printed Renaissance drama; and all commendatory poems written by or for Ben Jonson, the most prolific writer and most successful manipulator of the genre.

An Anthology of Renaissance Plays in Translation
2002 0-7734-6905-2


Aristotelians of Renaissance Italy
1991 0-7734-9697-1
This study contends that Aristotelian currents in Italian Renaissance philosophy are complex, distinctive, and significantly relevant to a complete history of philosophy for the period from the 14th to 17th centuries. Provides detailed expositions of some of the central philosophic portions of the most significant Aristotelian authors.

Bloody Signifiers - A Body for a Word on the Renaissance Stage
1997 3-7052-0134-4
Explores diseased and mortified bodies in English Renaissance plays usually critically dismissed as gratuitous, decadent, or sensationalistic, and considers the signifying capability of these bodies within the plays, to account for the plays' 'horrific' qualities. Offers psychoanalytic reading of the madness, ghosts, death and violence. Will be of interest to psychoanalytic literary critics, and to scholars and artists specializing in Renaissance drama. Plays include The Maids Tragedie (Beaumont & Fletcher) ; Philaster Or, Love lies a Bleeding (Beaumont & Fletcher) ; Bussy D'Ambois: A Tragedie (Chapman); The Spanish Tragedie (Kyd); The Tragedie of Philotas (Daniel); The Dutchesse of Malfy (Webster); 'Tis Pitty Shee's a Whore (Ford); and The Atheist's Tragedie (Tourneur).

Changing Conceptions of the Child From the Renaissance to Post-Modernity
2006 0-7734-5645-7
This book traces the connections between childhood and philosophy along multidisciplinary pathways in the humanities. The first six chapters are located within the emerging field of philosophy of childhood. They explore the significance of childhood in Western culture and modal subjectivity in the context, not just of philosophy, but of social and cultural history and the history of ideas, art, literature, mythology, spirituality, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and educational theory. Their thematic movement is in the direction of a theory of adult-child dialogue with his implications, not just for child-rearing, but for the reconstruction of the school as an institution which recognizes and facilitates the lived world of childhood as an open space in human experience, and as a site for cultural transformation. The second part of the book offers sections of transcripts from two group dialogues – one among five-year-olds on the “origins of the world,” and the other among seven-year-olds on the phenomenon of conflict – and comments on their structural, logical and prosodic characteristics. The commentaries thematize the characteristics of young children’s deliberative discourse in both their differences from and similarities to adults’ and compare young children’s thinking about fundamental philosophical questions to that of adults.

Commendatory Verse and Authorship in the English Renaissance
2003 0-7734-6770-X
Commendatory verse – poetry written by one author specifically to commend the work of another – presents a window on English Renaissance literary culture as wide and clear as any yet found, a window through which very few scholars have looked. This study examines particularly the paratextual functions of commendatory poetry and the relationship of those functions to contemporary Renaissance conceptions of authorship. Chapters examine the poem as advertisement for the book to which it is attached and its role in book-selling, the state of patronage; the way the writers promoted themselves through the poems they wrote for others, with Ben Jonson serving as an example, the poems’ influence on reader response, with a discussion of William Shakespeare, examining the interplay of personal agency and cultural work in the liminary material of “Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.” One appendix identifies the original material of all commendatory poems written by Ben Jonson, and another identifying all printed drama before 1641 accompanied by commendatory verse.

Constructing Sonnet Sequences in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance: A Study of Six Poets
2010 0-7734-3766-5
This work establishes the presence of ambiguous, polyvalent characterisation of the first-person voice in the Petrarchan poem sequence. It argues that such characterisation triggers a reader-response mechanism characterised by ambivalence and interest which could be called splintered identification. This means of identifying helps promote reader-involvement and foster the perception of the sequence as an integral work, concerns which betray the presence of novelistic thinking. This book contains two color photographs.

Development of the Study of Anatomy From the Renaissance to Cartesianism: Da Carpi, Vesalius, Estienne, Bidloo
2009 0-7734-4657-5
This book is the first to focus on a paradox of anatomical images from the Renaissance to the 18th century: the representation of skeletons and flayed figures in a state of animation, i. e. apparently endowed with life despite the logical impossibility of this being so. The exploration of this phenomenon—a paradox in modern eyes only—entails careful study of the deep coherence between artistic and anatomical theory, a coherence that developed within the same framework of thinking (humanist rhetoric), and was determined by a dominant philosophical concept (teleology). Scientific and aesthetic teleology went hand in hand, and both were involved in the conception of anatomical images, in which they merged with a symbolic teleology of a moral, eschatological, and erotic nature. This book contains thirty black and white photographs and ten color photographs.

Erotic Suffering in Shakespeare and Sidney
2011 0-7734-1355-3
This text is examines the influence of late antiquity Greek romances on the works of William Shakespeare and Sir Phillip Sidney.

Formalistic Aspects of Cervantes's Novelas Ejemplares
1997 0-7734-8556-2
This study examines the narrative features and numerous textual aspects of the Novelas ejemplares, and also takes into consideration certain external aspects like intertextual features and specific concerns within narratology. It undoes the apparent 'placidity' of the surface text in order to study the sub-textual currents, connections that exist at the base of the apparent text.

Geographical History of Institutional Provision for the Insane From Medieval Times to the 1860’s in England and Wales
2003 0-7734-6509-X
This book tackles the historical encounter between madness and space in two interwoven ways. Conceptually, it offers a critical revisiting of Foucault’s famous 1961 text translated as Madness and Civilization. Empirically, it offers a sustained inquiry into the changing geography of the palces and spaces associated with madness in England and Wales from Medieval times to the 1860s. It traces the emergence of an exclusionary impulse seeking to remove those designated as ‘mad’ from the midst of everyday society, and it also maps out the many different sites and institutions that have confined, sheltered, treated and even cured madness over the centuries. From the places of hermit-saints to the spaces of the public county lunatic asylum, attention is paid to the discourses and practices that have created a succession of muddled, overlain and often disputed ‘landscapes of lunacy’. From the seclusion of the remotest countryside to the bustle of the most congested city, reference is made to the many different types of environment that have been the setting for receptacles receiving early mental patients. Readers can follow the broad historical sweep of the narrative, or they can dip into the relatively self-contained chapters on particular facilities (gaols and workhouses, private madhouses, charitable lunatic hospitals, and public county lunatic asylums).

Gli Eudemoni an Italian Renaissance Comedy
1999 0-7734-8191-5
This is the first reliable version of Giraldi's sole comedy, Gli Eudemoni (The Lucky Ones), completed in 1549. A comedy after the manner of Terence, this edition reproduces the text of the autograph manuscript preserved in the Biblioteca Communale at Ferrara. The five Acts of the play proper are preceded by a prologue, showing that, in all probability, it was intended for public performance; but there is some doubt as to whether the author ever in fact mounted a production of it. An interesting feature of this comedy is that it has some striking features in common with Gli Antivalomeni, one of Giraldi's tragedies with a happy ending, performed at the court of Ferrara the previous year. However, the chief interest of the Eudemoni for the literary historians of today is the extent to which it illustrates the theories on comedy enunciated by the author in the contemporary Discorso intorno al comporre delle comedie e delle tragedie, first published in 1554.

Images of Humanist Ideals in Italian Renaissance Art
2000 0-7734-7804-3
This is a study about the ideals of humanism as they are manifest in the visual arts. Using, in particular, the notion of dignity as set forth by the well-known humanist Giannozzo Manetti in his book On the Dignity of Man, the author has subjected a number of art works to iconographical analysis. He examines works by Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, among others. The volume offers new iconographical interpretations of ‘old’ images as well as new insights into the interrelationships between artist and humanist. The text suggest that the artist assumed much of the intellectual responsibility of humanism by developing the means of effectively translating its ideals into visually legible terms. What was less accessible through Latin texts and oratory became more accessible through the proliferation of images in painting, sculpture and architecture. With many illustrations.

Influence of Stoicism on William Shakespeare: His Background Reading and How It Shaped His Portrayal of Characters
2015 0-7734-4261-8
The first book of its kind to explore Shakespeare’s different plays to prove the relevance of stoic philosophy, in the themes, ideas, and images that play out in his body of work. Contemporary interpreters of Shakespeare have ignored these primary philosophical sources of Renaissance thought that influenced the fundamental moral principles and thinking of his time.

Johannes Renner's Livonian History 1556-1561
1997 0-7734-8691-7
This translation of Renner's 16th century Baltic chronicle is an important source for early modern Russian history, dealing with the rise of Ivan the Terrible. Renner was a secretary to one of the important officers and observed the political process first-hand and he had access to documents and correspondence. The text is extensively footnoted and includes maps to assist the reader in following the complexities of the opening years of the Great Livonian War 1558-1583.

Latin Versus Vernacular and Other Linguistic Disputes During the Italian Renaissance: A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Debates
2015 1-4955-0364-X
“This sweeping work, centred upon the Renaissance linguistic disputes and in particular, upon that of the Latin vs. the Vernacular, has the merit of enlarging upon a subject, which, though not yet much explored, is, nevertheless, extremely symptomatic and revealing of the intricate nexus of cultural, linguistic, philosophical and rhetorical issues, which characterize the linguistic ‘question’ of the second half of the sixteenth century, after the Prose della volgar lingua.”
-Lucia Bertolini,
Professor ordinario di Filologia della Letteratura italiana,
Università eCampus – Novedrate




Learning, Wit, and Wisdom of Shakespeare's Renaissance Women
1997 0-7734-8737-9
A careful study of Shakespeare's plays shows that his Renaissance women break the typical stereotype of the day about the limitations of their abilities to operate in a man's world. Many of the females solve problems that male characters were unable to solve and in this sense serve as subtle mentors. Some criticism has been written in scattered articles, but this is the first volume to collect this information. Chapter headings include: The Education of Renaissance Women - Looking Forward to Shakespeare's Women of Wit; Education of Renaissance Women - Negative Changes Under James I; Secondary Wisdom - The Role of Women as Mentors in Shakespeare's Plays; Portia - Re-evaluated Portrait; The Simultaneous Depersonalization and Individualization of Shakespeare's Hermia and Juliet; Writing Women and Reading the Renaissance; Images of Women in Shakespeare's Plays; "when Men Are Rul'd by women" - Shakespeare's First Tetralogy; "Intercepting the Dew-Drop" - Female Readers and Reading in Anna Jameson's Shakespearean Criticism; The Critics Discover Shakespeare's Woman.

Political Culture in the Early Northern Renaissance - The Court of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1467-1477)
2005 0-7734-6228-7
Numerous studies have demonstrated the tremendous and varied influences exercised by the court of the Valois dukes of Burgundy upon Tudor England and the Hapsburg Empire. The Burgundian agglomeration of territories in the Low Countries inherited by the Hapsburgs was in fact the key to that dynasty's rise to power and the foremost source of its wealth. In itself the achievement of Valois Burgundy was enormous, particularly in political and cultural terms. But of the four Valois dukes, only the final one, Charles the Bold can be seen as truly having set out to create an independent state. Justice, order, sovereignty, and the display of magnificence were the essential features of Burgundian political culture. The court of Charles the Bold reveals the widely varying manifestations of these unifying ideals within a context of state formation. This monograph examines the culture of the first great Northern court of the early modem era, within the context of Charles's attempt to create a sovereign polity uniting both his French and Imperial fiefs.

Politics and Tropes in Renaissance History Plays
2006 0-7734-5687-2
Rhetoric in sixteenth century English historical drama is intertwined with character development in relation to contemporary political paradigms. Recurring major political themes are those of strong rulership, stable government, the political responsibilities of the king, the peers, and the commons. Secondary themes are the need for monarchs to please their subjects, the need for both princes and peers to confront political reality with wisdom. Through close analysis of Renaissance rhetorical strategies and Tudor political concepts in the speeches and speech acts of major historical characters in John Bale’s King Johan, Thomas Hughes’s The Misfortunes of Arthur, Thomas Lodge’s The Wounds of Civil War, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, the anonymous Troublesome Reign, Shakespeare’s King John, and the First Tetralogy, this study explores both human reality and political reality through the language act. This study concludes that Tudor dramatists were making the most of the politics of misunderstanding by exploiting the ambiguity inherent in rhetorical language. Tudor dramatists seriously questioned contemporary political doctrines by using oblique and “politic” rhetoric thereby shedding light upon the past in terms of the present in a fundamentally different way.

Renaissance Incorporations: Negotiating the Theory of the King’s Two Bodies
2015 1-4955-0332-1
The book synthesizes older and newer historical approaches to Renaissance texts in order to establish a reading of them that takes at its starting point the principles behind the period’s natural philosophy in order to reevaluate the theory of the king’s two bodies. Rolls presents a view of Renaissance thought that could adapt itself to new discoveries, and also turns to recent thinkers to interpret the material.

Renaissance Magic and Hermeticism in the Shakespeare SonnetsLike Prayers Divine
1995 0-7734-9027-2
This study shows how the magical language and occult methods of the Italian Renaissance are the key to understanding the mysteries of the Shakespeare sonnets, both as a cycle and as individual poems. It explores how the influence of Giordano Bruno's Heroic Enthusiasms, Plato's Symposium, Trismegistus' Corpus Hermiticum, emblem books, and Italian "magic" in its various overlapping forms provided the foundation and content of Shakespeare's sonnets. It provides convincing evidence that Bruno's code, so carefully explained in his commentaries, was commonly imitated in the London of Shakespeare's time. Contains a concise history of the 200-year detective search to locate historical persons to match the unnamed beloveds of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Representation of Women in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Texts
2005 0-7734-6293-7
This work explores the discussion of the idealization of women in medieval and Renaissance texts. This book has three main goals: to show textual connections between literary masterpieces (and thus, delineate a literary history from within the texts) in order to show how authors consciously or unconsciously interact with one another regardless of time and boundaries; to present biographical and autobiographical heroines, their work and legacy; and finally to grasp man's imaginary world of women.

Reputation History of John Dee, 1527-1609: The Life of an Elizabethan Intellectual
2009 0-7734-4667-2
This work argues that the Elizabethan polymath John Dee was not the influential intellectual he purported himself to be. Dee’s scientific works were anachronistic and in no way heralded the new age of experimental science. This book traces the course of Dee’s life showing how he was a marginal figure and his works had little lasting value. It also provides a useful historiographical summation of Dee’s life and career.

Role of Venetian Renaissance Painting in John Ruskin’s Utopian Theories: A Sociopolitical History of Art
2011 0-7734-1508-4
“The book explores the importance of Venetian Renaissance paintings in the writings and political theories of John Ruskin. While the city and the architecture of Renaissance Venice has been extensively examined by Ruskin scholars, to date there has been little discussion on the influence of Venetian art on Ruskin’s world view. Nevertheless, Ruskin clearly placed a great deal of political and personal significance in the artwork of Tintoretto, Titian, Carpaccio, and other Venetian painters as demonstrated by his repeated references to these artists in his social writings and art criticism. This book examines important Venetian paintings and how their iconography and pictorial components relate to themes in Ruskin’s writings. From these paintings, the book argues that Ruskin found inspiration for the conceptualization of his ideal society in which society exists harmoniously under the laws of justice, obedience, and cooperation.”

Roman Civil War in English Renaissance Tragedy Catiline, Caesar and Pompey and Julius Caesar with an Introduction Drawn From Roman Sources
2002 0-7734-6993-1


Scenery, Set and Staging in the Italian Renaissance Studies in the Practice of Theatre
1996 0-7734-8814-6
Papers collected in this volume were given at the Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, in March, 1993, at a conference organised to coincide with the English premiere of the first English-language staging of Pietro Aretino's Talanta. Grants had been obtained to construct the Roman perspective set described with such enthusiasm by contemporaries such as Vasari and Aretino himself for the Venice staging of the play in 1542. According to current research, the set has been seen as one of the earliest attempts to reproduce a real place on a stage with topographical accuracy. This set had been reconstructed full-size on the Aberystwyth stage according to the suggested source, and the play had been translated, adapted with new music and modern choreography. Experts on Renaissance theatre practice and in particular on aspects of staging and set-design gathered for this conference. Contains many photographs and drawings.

Sexuality and Politics in Renaissance Drama
1991 0-88946-078-7
Focuses on the effects that radical instability, provoked in part by economical and theological transformations, had on gender relations and women's behavior during the English Renaissance.

Spanish Devotional and Meditative Literature of Renaissance Spain
2005 0-7734-5850-6
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain produced a plethora of religious literature. The writers of mystical literature, such as Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, are very well known, even outside of Hispanic Studies. However, there is another body of work by religious writers such as Malón de Chaide, García Gómez de Cisneros, Alonso de Madrid, Luis de Granada, El Beato Orozco, Tomás de Villanueva and Ignatius of Loyola, to name a few. These writers describe the process of devotional reading, mental prayer, meditation, contemplation, and spiritual as well as ascetical exercises in a context which is more methodical in nature. The great mystics also contributed to this type of religious literature in several of their works. This type of methodical prayer and meditation began in the reform of monasteries such as San Benito in Valladolid and at Montserrat. It is at Montserrat that Ignatius of Loyola learned the type of methodical reading, exercises and meditation that led to the creation of his Spiritual Exercises. There are also lesser-known writers who wrote commentaries on the works of St. John of the Cross and others who followed the Ignatian method of prayer and meditation.

Spatial Discourse in Shakespeare’s and Other English Early Modern Pastoral Drama
2015 1-4955-0418-2
This ground breaking work is a comprehensive study that applies art, dramatic, and literary theory to examine the shaping effects of negative/positive space in English Renaissance pastoral drama from 1590-1640. This innovative approach to a genre long overlooked includes both major and minor plays which are examined to show how dramatists used the theory of negative/ positive space to write and dramatize their plays.

Texts Analyzing Literature as Argument: From Philip Sidney to Henry James
2013 0-7734-4510-2
Golban offers an interdisciplinary perspective involving literary theory, criticism, and literary history which will be useful to scholars and students. The main concern of the book is the British critical discourse which originates in the Renaissance and continues its developmental process until the rise of the formal approach to literature in the twentieth century. Some of these author critics, like Sidney and Dryden, develop critical ideas based on a respectable classical tradition; others, like Coleridge and Ruskin, were more original and innovative in their critical theories. Among them, there were those who used or materialized their own artistic or literary theories in their literary texts, such as Wordsworth reifying his theory of the origin of poetry, or Pater exemplifying the principles of aestheticism. For some, criticism was a means of defending the aesthetic value of literature; for others, criticism represented the instrument to be used in an attempt to found a new genre, or even introduce into the contemporary culture and to validate a whole new literary movement, such as for Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Urban Honor in Spain
2012 0-7734-2561-6
Urban Honor in Spain is an historical study of Spain and the writing technique of laus urbis (praise of the city) during the 15th century. The book begins by providing an overview of laus urbis was developed and codified in oratory and classical literary texts during the Greco-Roman period. The book then explores how this powerful technique re-emerged during the Middle Ages to become a powerful corpus that formed an early national culture by praising cities and nations. In Medieval and Renaissance Spain, laus urbis, provided a sense of local community to city and town dwellers in the indefinite and blurry political frontier of Iberia during the Reconquista. Notwithstanding its historical significance, the book contributes to Spanish literary studies a profound and original examination of the theoretical and cultural reasons behind the concept of praising the city.

Violence and Vengeance in Middle Welsh and Middle English Narrative: owein and ywain and Gawain
2009 0-7734-4658-3
This study examines the presence and extent of legal and feud elements in the Middle Welsh Owein and the Middle English Ywain and Gawain. The anonymous English author of Ywain and Gawain expresses sentiments of a feud culture, especially the sanctity of the spoken vow. The process of feud and the concern for honor, along with the sentiment of reciprocity and exchange which inform them, are so integral to the cultures which produced Owein and Ywain and Gawain that familiarity with this mentalité is essential to fully appreciate and understand the literature.