Description : Presented for the first time in a critical English edition, Urania: A Romance provides modern readers with a rare glimpse into the novel and novella forms at a time when narrative genres were not only being invented but, in the hands of women like Giulia Bigolina (1518?-1569?), used as vehicles for literary experimentation. The first known prose romance written by a woman in Italian, Bigolina's Urania centers on the monomaniacal love of a female character falling into melancholy when her beloved leaves her for a more beautiful woman. A tale that includes many of the conventions that would later become standards of the genre—cross-dressing, travel, epic skirmishes, and daring deeds—Urania also contains the earliest treatise on the worth of women. Also included in this volume, the novella Giulia Camposampiero is the only extant part of a probable longer narrative written in the style of the Decameron. While employing some of those same gender and role reversals as Urania, including the privileging of heroic constancy in both men and women, it chronicles the tribulations that a couple undergoes until their secret marriage is publicly recognized.
Description : Reflecting Milton's knowledgeability in many fields, this collection investigates a wide variety of subjects fundamental to an understanding of the seventeenth century, including the importance of the writings of Thrice-Great Hermes, the profound influence of Aristotle on Milton's conception of the power of matter, and the issue of Milton's relations with the Presbyterian church.
Description : This is a study guide for the liturgical mystery dramas in the pamphlet, Urania, by Lady Olivia Robertson of the Fellowship of Isis. Each drama has a set of questions that guide the student toward deeper understanding of the mystery of the drama.
Description : Narrative Structure and Reader Formation in Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania offers the first systematic formal and thematic analysis of Wroth’s Urania in its historical context and explores the structural means by which Wroth fashions her readership. The book thus has a dual focus, at once on narrative art and reader formation. It makes two original claims, the first being that the Urania is not the unorganized accumulation of stories critics have tended to present it as, but a work of sophisticated narrative structures i.e. a complex text in a positive sense. These structures are revealed by means of a circumspect narratological analysis of the formal and thematic patterns that organise the Urania. Such an analysis furthers our understanding of the reading strategies that Wroth encourages. The second claim is, then, that through the careful structuring of her text Wroth seeks to create her own ideal readership. More precisely, the formal and thematic structures of the Urania engage with readers’ expectations, inviting them to reflect on prominent thematic issues and respond to the text as what early modern prefaces term "good" readers. Combining narratological methods with a generic perspective and taking into account the work of book historians on early modern reading practices, this monograph provides a new approach to the Urania, supplementing the typically gender- or (auto)biographically-oriented interpretations of the romance. Moreover, it contributes to the study of early modern (prose) narrative and romance and exemplifies how historically contextualised narratological analysis may yield new insights and profit research on reading strategies.
Description : Was Urania a fair, blue-eyed maiden, a dream of spring, an innocent but inquisitive daughter of Eve? No; she was simply, as in days of yore, that one of the nine Muses who presided over astronomy, and whose celestial glance inspired and directed the chorus of the spheres; she was the angelic idea which soars above terrestrial dulness. She had not the disturbing flesh, nor the heart whose palpitations are communicated at a distance, nor the gentle ardor of human life; but she existed nevertheless in a sort of ideal world,—lofty and always pure,—and yet she was human enough in name and form to produce a strong and deep impression upon an adolescent soul, to arouse in that soul an indefinite, indefinable feeling of admiration,—almost of love. In his hours of solitude, and even through the intellectual labors with which the education of the day overloads his brain, a young man whose hand has never plucked the divine fruit from the tree of Paradise, whose lips are still untouched, whose heart has not yet spoken, whose senses are beginning to awaken amid vague new aspirations, thrills with a presentiment of the divinity to which he is soon to sacrifice, and personifies beforehand in ever-varying forms the unknown being who floats through the airy fabric of his dreams. He wishes, longs to reach this unknown being, but dares not yet, perhaps may never dare, in the purity of his admiration, unless some helping hand come to his aid. If Chloe is not well informed, indiscreet and talkative Lycinion must take it upon herself to instruct Daphnis. Whatever tells us of the yet unknown attraction can charm, interest, delight, and captivate us. A cold engraving, showing the oval of a pure face, even an old-fashioned painting, a sculpture,—a sculpture especially,—awakens a new feeling in our hearts; the blood flows faster, or seems to stop; the idea crosses our reddening brow like a flash, and remains floating in our pensive mind. It is the beginning of desires, the beginning of life, the dawn of a beautiful summer day, harbinger of the sunrise. As for me, my first love, my adolescent passion, had, not for its object assuredly, but as a determining cause—a clock! It is rather odd, but so it is! Humdrum calculations used up all my afternoons from two until four; it was merely correcting observations, made the night before, of stars or planets by applying the reductions arising from atmospheric refraction, which itself depends on the height of the barometer and the temperature. These calculations are as simple as they are tiresome; they are made mechanically, by the help of prepared tables, while thinking of something else.