Interpreting textual mediations of history in early modernity, this volume adds nuance to our understanding of the contributions fiction and fictionalizing make to the shape and texture of versions of and debates about history during that period. Geographically, the scope of the essays extends beyond Europe and England to include Asia and Africa. Contributors take a number of different approaches to understand the relationship between history, fiction, and broader themes in early modern culture. They analyze the ways fiction writers use historical sources, fictional texts translate ideas about the past into a vernacular accessible to broad audiences, fictional depictions and interpretations shape historical action, and the ways in which nonfictional texts and accounts were given fictional histories of their own, intentionally or not, through transmission and interpretation. By combining the already contested idea of fiction with performance, action, and ideas/ideology, this collection provides a more thorough consideration of fictional histories in the early modern period.
It also covers more than two centuries of primary material, providing a longer perspective on the changing and complex role of history in forming early modern national, gendered, and cultural identities.
Allison Kavey is Associate Professor of History at CUNY John Jay College and The Graduate Center, USA. Elizabeth Ketner is an independent scholar.
Contents: Introduction: imagining early modern histories, Allison Kavey. Part I Histories Written and Enacted: Shouting distance: local history and a global empire in Lope de Vega's Famosa comedia del nuevo mundo descubierto por Cristobal Colon, Madera Allan; Enclosure and the spatialization of history in Ben Jonson's 'To Penshurst', Dan Brayton; From antimasque to execution: revising history through performance, Patrick B. Tuite. Part II Histories Created and Assigned: 'I'll to my book:' the legacy of the Corpus Hermeticum in Renaissance magic, Allison Kavey; The imagined among the real: the country of women in traditional and early modern Chinese geographical accounts and maps, Hyunhee Park; Looking for the unknown Asia: the Asian mystique in early modern European textual history, Fumihiko Kobayashi. Part III Fictions Histories: 'Secretarie now, but to the dead': Samuel Daniel and the just aesthetics of history, Kevin Dunn; 'The gap / That we shall make in time': emblematics and the queer drive of history in Cymbeline, Hilary Binda; 'A fable like a historie': Lady Mary Wroth's 'heathen fiction', Alex Davis. Part IV Fictions of the Self and the State: Gender and Innocence: Fictions and lies: accusations of spousal homicide and adultery in France, Sara McDougall; Speaking from the edges: toward a feminine historiography in story XXI of Marguerite de Navarre's Heptameron, Elizabeth Ketner; Fiction and biography, self and identity in Antonio di Tuccio Manetti's Il grasso legnaiuolo, Yael Manes. Index.
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