restricted access Arms or the Man II: Epic, Romance, and Ordnance in Seventeenth-Century England
Abstract

Abstract:

This second part of a two-part essay continues to place the chivalric romance, both as a print and performance genre, more firmly in the context of Renaissance England's contemporaneous gunpowder revolution. Where part I (see vol. 114.3 [2017]) focused on the romance tradition's overarching attempts in the sixteenth century to evade gunpowder technology, part II attends to the ways in which, in the seventeenth century, that tradition came increasingly to make space for it. Beginning with the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which resulted in an outpouring of narratives that conveyed and capitalized on the language of artillery, the essay then traces powder's textual presence in—and, on occasion, its shrewd elision from—the romance tradition as composed for the popular stage, the domestic arena, and the royal court. It ends with an examination of how that tradition infused the news coverage of the artillery-laden civil wars, while likewise driving the genre into satirized retreat.


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