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Description : Once nearly as ubiquitous as dictionaries and cookbooks are today, letter-writing manuals and their predecessors served to instruct individuals not only on the art of letter composition but also, in effect, on personal conduct. Poster and Mitchell contend that the study of letter-writing theory, which bridges rhetorical theory and grammatical studies, represents an emerging discipline in need of definition. In this volume, they gather the contributions of eleven experts to sketch the contours of epistolary theory and collect the historic and bibliographic materials - from Isocrates to email - that form the basis for its study.
Description : The Oxford History of Classical Reception (OHCREL) is designed to offer a comprehensive investigation of the numerous and diverse ways in which literary texts of the classical world have stimulated responses and refashioning by English writers. Covering the full range of English literature from the early Middle Ages to the present day, OHCREL both synthesizes existing scholarship and presents cutting-edge new research, employing an international team of expert contributors for each of the five volumes. OHCREL endeavours to interrogate, rather than inertly reiterate, conventional assumptions about literary 'periods', the processes of canon-formation, and the relations between literary and non-literary discourse. It conceives of 'reception' as a complex process of dialogic exchange and, rather than offering large cultural generalizations, it engages in close critical analysis of literary texts. It explores in detail the ways in which English writers' engagement with classical literature casts as much light on the classical originals as it does on the English writers' own cultural context. This second volume, and third to appear in the series, covers the years 1558-1660, and explores the reception of the ancient genres and authors in English Renaissance literature, engaging with the major, and many of the minor, writers of the period, including Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, and Jonson. Separate chapters examine the Renaissance institutions and contexts which shape the reception of antiquity, and an annotated bibliography provides substantial material for further reading.
Description : Peter Mack examines the impact of humanist training in rhetoric and argument on a range of Elizabethan prose texts, including political orations, histories, romances, conduct manuals, privy council debates and personal letters. Elizabethan Rhetoric reconstructs the knowledge, skills and approaches which an Elizabethan would have acquired in order to participate in the political and religious debates of the time: the approaches to an audience, analysis and replication of textual structures, organisation of arguments and tactics for disputation. Study of the rhetorical codes and conventions in terms of which debates were conducted is currently a major area of historical and literary enquiry, and Mack provides a wealth of new information about what was taught and how these conventions were exploited in personal memoranda, court depositions, sermons and political and religious pamphlets. This important book will be invaluable for all those interested in the culture, literature and political history of the period.
Description : A central feature of English Renaissance humanism was its reverence for classical Latin as the one true form of eloquent expression. Yet sixteenth-century writers increasingly came to believe that England needed an equally distinguished vernacular language to serve its burgeoning national community. Thus, one of the main cultural projects of Renaissance rhetoricians was that of producing a "common" vernacular eloquence, mindful of its classical origins yet self-consciously English in character. The process of vernacularization began during Henry VIII’s reign and continued, with fits and starts, late into the seventeenth century. In Outlaw Rhetoric, Jenny C. Mann examines the substantial and largely unexplored archive of vernacular rhetorical guides produced in England between 1500 and 1700. Writers of these guides drew upon classical training as they translated Greek and Latin figures of speech into an everyday English that could serve the ends of literary and national invention. In the process, however, they confronted aspects of rhetoric that run counter to its civilizing impulse. For instance, Mann finds repeated references to Robin Hood, indicating an ongoing concern that vernacular rhetoric is "outlaw" to the classical tradition because it is common, popular, and ephemeral. As this book shows, however, such allusions hint at a growing acceptance of the nonclassical along with a new esteem for literary production that can be identified as native to England. Working across a range of genres, Mann demonstrates the effects of this tension between classical rhetoric and English outlawry in works by Spenser, Shakespeare, Sidney, Jonson, and Cavendish. In so doing she reveals the political stakes of the vernacular rhetorical project in the age of Shakespeare.