- Cultural Reformations
- List of Illustrations
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- National Histories
- Literary Histories
- Enclosed Spaces
- The Eucharist
- The Saints
- Vernacular Theology
- When English Became Latin
- Heresy and Treason
- Naughty Printed Books
- Utopian Pleasure
- Poetic Fame
- London Books and London Readers
- The Reformation of the Household
- Active and Contemplative Lives
- Autobiography and the History of Reading
Abstract and Keywords
The long Tudor Century (1485-1603) saw the rise of a concept of literature which endures today. Printing and Protestantism had two transformative effects on the social existence of stories: 1. the isolation of individual stories as ‘works’ shaped by artists instead of authorities; 2. the dematerialization of stories as imaginative productions, abstracting them from the medium of the ‘bok’ and according them a transcendent status. Chaucer’s dream poems, Shakespeare’s “Venus and Adonis,” and Spenser’s Faerie Queene are cited. Two works on either side of the change are read closely: Robert Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid (late 15th c) and Thomas Lodge’s Scillae’s Metamorphosis (1589).
Gordon Teskey, Professor of English at Harvard University, is author of Allegory and Violence (1996) and of Delirious MIlton (2006); he is editor of the Norton Edition of Paradise Lost (2005). A graduate of Trent University and the University of Toronto, he taught at Cornell University from 1982 to 2002.
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