Children and Fiction in the English Renaissance
Publication Year: 2007
Children had surprisingly central roles in many of the public performances of the English Renaissance, whether in entertainments-civic pageants, children's theaters, Shakespearean drama-or in more grim religious and legal settings, as when children were "possessed by demons" or testified as witnesses in witchcraft trials. Taken together, such spectacles made repeated connections between child performers as children and the mimetic powers of fiction in general.
In Pretty Creatures, Michael Witmore examines the ways in which children, with their proverbial capacity for spontaneous imitation and their imaginative absorption, came to exemplify the virtues and powers of fiction during this era. As much concerned with Renaissance poetics as with children's roles in public spectacles of the period, Pretty Creatures attempts to bring the antics of children-and the rich commentary these antics provoked-into the mainstream of Renaissance studies, performance studies, and studies of reformation culture in England. As such, it represents an alternative history of the concept of mimesis in the period, one that is built from the ground up through reflections on the actual performances of what was arguably nature's greatest mimic: the child.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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...early modern authors often described their books as children, perhaps because both were demanding of their time but ultimately offered a certain kind of hope. the demands of raising this “child” were eased by the generous help of friends, colleagues, students, and a number of institutions. For their reactions, advice, and assistance, I thank William Blake, Gina Bloom, Jonathan Burton, claire Busse, Kevin Butler, Lorraine ...
Note on Modernization
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Where I have quoted directly from early modern texts or manuscripts, I have not modernized the spelling. contractions have been ex-panded and the modern equivalent for certain letters (v/u, i/j, f/s) pro-vided. For the most part, I have quoted from contemporary editions of plays, although in certain instances I have preferred printed early modern editions. unless otherwise noted, all references to shakespeare are taken ...
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When he posed in profile for the portrait opposite, Edward Tudor was nine years old. By almost any measure of age familiar to his elders, the crown prince was still a child, lacking those qualities of reason, policy, and prudence that he would need when he became king scarcely a year later. The strange portrait produced for the Tudor court is a marvel of per-spective, its competing vantage points superimposing a radically distorted ...
Ut Pueritas PoesisThe Child and Fictionin the English Renaissance
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They have certain childish processions, wherein are carried about certain puppets, made for their Lady, and some boy that is better clerk than his fellows goes before them with words of the Popish Litany; where the rest of — William Bedell, letter to Mr. Adam Newton, dean of Durham, giving an For the third vice or disease of learning, which concerneth deceit or untruth ...
Animated Children in Elizabeth’sCoronation Pageant of 1559
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The miniature, linked to nostalgic versions of childhood and history, presents a diminutive, and thereby manipulable, version of experience.— Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the The road ahead was lined with ranking members of civic guilds, dressed for the occasion in their distinctive livery robes. Choruses of little sing-ers had been arranged on either side of the twisting path, their voices ris-...
Phatic Metadrama and theTouch of Irony in EnglishChildren’s Theater
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In The Arte of English Poesie (1589), George Puttenham tells an interesting story about the uses and abuses of rhetoric in diplomatic exchange. The story is meant to illustrate the foolishness of feigned deference in social A Herald at armes sent by Charles the fifth Emperor to Fraunces the first French king, bringing him a message of defiance, and thinking to qualifie the bitternesse of his message with words pompous and magnificent for ...
Mamillius, The Winter’s Tale,and the Impetus of Fiction
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A childe is a Man in small Letter, yet the best Copie of Adam before he tasted of Eve, or the apple; and hee is happy whose small practice in the World can only write this Character. Hee is nature’s fresh picture newly drawn in oil, Shakespeare scholars have sometimes associated his late plays with childhood, suggesting that the indifference shown to the canons of probability in The Tempest, Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and The ...
The Lies Children Tell
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A Counterfeite is not that truely, which hee pretendeth to bee, but onely a shadow thereof, in a most cunning manner, resembling it, that by the like-nesse hee may deceive others, to further his owne intended ends therein.It is the policy and practise of the Devill, the father of lies, to lay siege —Gryffith Williams, The true church shewed to all men (London, 1629)...
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In 1727, at the end of his eighty-five-year life, the English natural philosopher Isaac Newton—by this time famed for his work on optics and the laws of planetary motion—is said to have uttered the following I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst ...
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Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2007