The outstanding essays in this volume explore the interdependency of literature and history in seventeenth-century England. The relation of text to society is examined both as theory and as practice. The theoretical essays explore writing, reading, and the emergence of the aesthetic as historical phenomena of the seventeenth century. Other contributions examine cultural and political practices that fashioned the century: patronage, representations of authority, the socialization of party politics, and fables of power.
What is often separated as a distinct sphere of “literature” is returned to the contexts of other cultural and discursive practices. Using the shaping force of history on the imagination and the status of literature as historical evidence, the authors also claim the power of imaginative texts to mold as well as reflect history. Politics of Discourse not only increases our understanding of seventeenth-century England but also advances the study of subjects of interest to cultural critics of all historical periods: genre and canon, the interplay of institution and imagination, and the symbols of power.
Barbara K. Lewalski
J. G. A. Pocock
Mary Ann Radzinowicz
Steven N. Zwicker
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1987.