Works written and published in Latin by Elizabethan and Jacobean writers covered a vast range, from brief poetic trifles to massive scholarly, humanist and scientific treatises. Among its authors were some of the greatest intellects of the day; and study of Latin dedications and commendatory verses makes clear the importance of Latinate culture in the Court as well as in the universities and learned professions. English renaissance Latin culture was the shared intellectual background for all educated people, England's bridge to the scientific, literary, political, philosophical and religious life of continental Europe.
J.W. Binns has examined almost all the numerous books written in Latin and printed in England during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England (ICEJE)is the result of over 25 years labour - the first comprehensive overview of the Latinate culture of England, which was the counterpart, on a higher intellectual level, of the better-known contemporary achievements in the English vernacular.
It discusses various aspects of the Latin poetry of Renaissance England (seven chapters); Latin drama, and its attackers and defenders; translations into Latin from Greek and from European vernaculars; treatises on such disparate subjects as translation theory, the soul, swimming, and humanist historiography and biography; writings on theology; legal studies; and the physical sciences. Treatments vary, from the close study of significant individuals (such as Case and Rainolds) to broader surveys, for example, of Latin style. Latin quoted in the main text is accompanied by English translation.
The extensive reference section contains a tripartite Bibliography, of manuscripts, books printed before 1751, and books and articles printed after 1750; a Biographical Register of around 1000 entries; and an Index of Modern Authors, followed by a detailed General Index. ICEJE is a treasure-house of ideas and material for all researchers into Elizabethan and Jacobean literary culture. It is an essential handbook for students of English literature, renaissance scholars, cultural historians, latinists, librarians and bibliographers.