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English Mythography in its European Context, 1500-1650 (Anna-Maria Hartmann) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780198807704
English Mythography in its European Context, 1500-1650 (Anna-Maria Hartmann) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780198807704
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Title: English Mythography in its European Context, 1500-1650

Author: Hartmann, Anna-Maria

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2018

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780198807704

Volumes: 1; Pages: 304

List Price in Hardcover: $90.00 Our price: $71.99

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Greco-Roman mythology and its reception are at the heart of the European Renaissance, and mythographies-texts that collected and explained ancient myths-were considered indispensable companions to any reader of literature. Despite the importance of this genre, English mythographies have not gained sustained critical attention, largely because they have been wrongly considered mere copies of their European counterparts. This volume focuses on the English mythographies written between 1577 and 1647 by Stephen Batman, Abraham Fraunce, Francis Bacon, Henry Reynolds, and Alexander Ross: it places their texts into a wider, European context to reveal their unique English take on the genre and also unfolds the significant role myth played in the broader culture of the period, influencing not only literary life, natural philosophy and poetics, but also religious conflicts and Civil War politics. In doing so it demonstrates, for the first time, the considerable explanatory value classical mythology holds for the study of the English Renaissance and its literary culture in particular, and how early modern England answered a question we still find fascinating today: what is myth?

Table of Contents


1. Mythography in Europe, 1500-1567

1.1. Renaissance Perspectives on Ancient and Medieval Mythographies

1.2. Renewal from the Wellsprings of Universal Learning

1.3. The New Mythographies

2. Stephen Batman, Edmund Spenser, and Myth as an Art of Discernment

2.1. The First English Mythography and its European Source

2.2. A 'Strau[n]ge entermixed stratageme': Batman s Concept of Myth

2.3. The Imagined Gods of the Catholics and the Family of Love

2.4. The Images of the Ancient Gods

2.5. Edmund Spenser and Mythological Discernment in the Bower of Bliss

3. In memoriam Philip Sidney: Mythopoesis in Abraham Fraunce's Amintas Dale

3.1. The Structure and Textual History of Fraunce's Mythography

3.2. Fashionably Nebulous: Fraunce's Concept of Myth

3.3. Making Sidney into Myth

3.4. Lasting Images: Daphne's Story and the Ambiguity of Closure

4. Truth Lost in the River of Time: Francis Bacon, Prima Philosophia, and the Greek Fables

4.1. The Stem of the Tree of Knowledge

4.2. Parabolic Poetry: Bacon's Concept of Myth and its Kinship with Prima Philosophia

4.3. Allegory in De sapientia veterum

4.4. Greek Myth and Prima Philosophia in the Revised Division of Learning

4.5. Early English and European Readers of De sapientia veterum

5. While the Winds Breathe, Adore Echo: Henry Reynolds between Neo-Platonic and Protestant Poetics of Myth

5.1. Reynolds and 'the Forme and reall Essence of true Poesy'

5.2. Golden Fictions i: 'rauisht, and inflamed with diuine fury'

5.3. Golden Fictions ii: 'in a myste, blind and benighted'

5.4. Henry Reynolds and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

5.5. Narcissus and the Divinity of Poetry

5.6. Henry Reynolds, English Mythography, and the Divinity of Poetry

6. Gods Save the King: Alexander Ross's Civil Mythography

6.1. 'Shall not the very Gentiles condemn them?': Ross and the Church Robbers

6.2. 'Apollo and a King parallel'd': Mel Heliconium to the Rescue

6.3. Pansebeia and the Universal Function of Religion in a Commonwealth

7. Conclusion

7.1. Renaissance Theories of Myth?

7.2. Alexander Ross's Mystagogus Poeticus and What Happened Next




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