Against All England: Regional Identity and Cheshire Writing, 1195-1656 (Reformations: Medieval and Early Modern)
By: Robert W. Barrett (author)Paperback
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"Against All England" examines a diverse set of poems, plays, and chronicles produced in Cheshire and its vicinity from the 1190s to the 1650s that collectively argue for the localization of British literary history. These works, including very early monastic writing emanating from St. Werburgh's Abbey, the Chester Whitsun plays, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, seventeenth-century ceremonials, and various Stanley romances, share in the creation and revision of England's cultural tradition, demonstrating a vested interest in the intersection of landscape, language, and politics.Barrett's book grounds itself in Cestrian evidence in order to offer scholars a new, dynamic model of cultural topography, one that acknowledges the complex interlacing of regional and national identities within the longue duree extending from the post-Conquest period to the Restoration. Covering nearly five centuries of literary production within a single geographical location, the book challenges still dominant chronologies of literary history that emphasize cultural rupture and view the 'Renaissance' as a sharp break from England's medieval past."
ReFormations: Medieval and Early Modern" interrogates and challenges the ways in which the academy has divided the study of early English literature and its history into two separate, almost incommensurate realms, medieval and early modern. The series will re-form this practice by publishing a range of literary, historical, and cultural works that will move easily across old divisions.
ROBERT W. BARRETT, JR., is assistant professor of English and medieval studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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- ID: 9780268022099
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