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date: 18 September 2019

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).

Keywords: storytelling, Reformation, Robert Henryson, Thomas Lodge, literature, printing, popular culture, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser

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