Abstract and Keywords
After a brief survey of the evolution of interdisciplinary historical work on the English Renaissance since the 1980s, this introduction comments upon the material covered by the collection and how individual chapters reflect recent and current historiographical trends. The decline of older master narratives of Elizabethan and early Stuart history is examined, along with the emergence of increasingly complex views of politics, religion, society and culture during the period. Particular attention is paid to issues and methodologies that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is argued that rather than providing scholars of literature with a stable framework of established facts and interpretations, historical research is best appreciated as an ongoing enterprise that can stimulate and inform literary analysis by suggesting fresh questions and furnishing insights and information that complement the work of close reading.
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