Renaissance Historical Fiction

Renaissance Historical Fiction: Sidney, Deloney, Nashe

Alex Davis
Volume: 29
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81qvz
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  • Book Info
    Renaissance Historical Fiction
    Book Description:

    Davis's study could scarcely be more timely or invigorating. SEAN KEILEN, College of William and Mary. Williamsburg VA A majority of the fiction composed in England in the second half of the sixteenth century was set in the past. All the major prose writ

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-684-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. TEXTUAL NOTE
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-39)

    IN THE THIRD Book of Sir Philip Sidney’s revised ‘New’ Arcadia, the wicked Cecropia spies in at the door of the chamber in which she has imprisoned her niece Pamela, who is praying. ‘O all-seeing Light, and eternall Life of al things,’ Pamela opens, ‘to whom nothing is either so great, that it may resist; or so small, that it is contemned: look vpon my miserie with thine eye of mercie’. The prayer is quoted at length, followed by a description:

    this prayer, sent to heauen, from so heauenly a creature, with such a feruent grace, as if Deuotion had...

  7. Chapter 1 SEVEN HISTORICAL FICTIONS
    (pp. 40-99)

    THE EARLIEST Elizabethan fictions wanted to identify themselves as historical writing. English prose fiction had always been set in the past; witness Malory’s Morte Darthur.¹ Furthermore, the word ‘history’ had a far broader application than is now the case, and might in principle be used of any narrative without making a claim to its factual status: a ‘history’ need not have been historical in the 1550s and 60s.² But in the mid-sixteenth century the need to lay claim to the name of history seems to have been particularly pressing. The stories compiled in volumes such as William Painter’s Palace of...

  8. Chapter 2 ‘THE WEB OF HIS STORY’: PHILIP SIDNEY’S ARCADIA
    (pp. 100-143)

    Philip Sidney’s revised, ‘new’ Arcadia opens, like so many fictions, by setting the scene: ‘It was in that time that the earth begins to put on her new aparrel against the approch of her louer, and that the Sun running a most euen course, becums an indifferent arbiter between the night and the day ….’¹ Which is one way of saying that it was spring. What the reader does not immediately get is an indication of historical time. When, during what period of history, is this fiction set? But the answer comes soon enough, supplied as much through the situations...

  9. Chapter 3 ‘OUT OF THE DUST OF FORGETFULNESSE’: THOMAS DELONEY
    (pp. 144-188)

    Few writers of Elizabethan prose fiction can have been so consistently viewed in as retrospective a light as Thomas Deloney; few can so reliably have had their subject matter cast in a representative role. Although Deloney is a rare author from the period whose historical interests have received significant attention, the tendency of Deloney criticism has overwhelmingly been to look towards the future of the past in which he wrote. Deloney’s work is seen as adumbrating a historical world that had yet fully to come into being in the late sixteenth century, and its ability to do so is thought...

  10. Chapter 4 RAVELLING OUT: THE UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER IN HISTORY
    (pp. 189-230)

    He wears a feather in his cap ‘as big as a flag in the fore-top’. His French doublet has been elaborately tailored, as if, ‘like a pig readie to be spitted … all [his] guts had been pluckt out’. His hose hangs down ‘like two scales filled with Holland cheeses’. At his side lies a rapier ‘like a round sticke fastned in the tacklings for skippers the better to climbe by’. On his back, a cloak of black cloth: like a ray, he tells us, or an elephant’s ear, ‘that hangs on his’ – that is, on the elephant’s –...

  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 231-248)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 249-254)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 255-257)