Soldier Poets in the Age of Shakespeare
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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Throughout this book I have modernized the spellings in the early texts I have quoted because I want them to be as alive and as familiar to modern readers as possible. I have, however, left the titles in their original form in the bibliography...
Ecole Lemonier: An Introduction
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This book began in the small African nation of Djibouti, a stretch of barren and yet strangely beautiful desert on the shores of the Gulf of Aden north of Somalia. Djibouti’s claims to fame are few, resources for Shakespeare scholarship not among...
Chapter 1. English Mercuries
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One of the most compelling contemporary accounts of an Elizabethan military operation comes from a pamphlet from Whitehall called The English Mercurie (figure 2), which is dated 23 July 1588. Published on the direction of Elizabeth’s chief minister ...
Chapter 2. Men, Money, Iron, and Bread
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During a raid on the Portuguese city of Cascais, Robert Devereux, the dashing and controversial Earl of Essex, challenged any of “his quality” to single combat.1 There were no takers, and Essex was probably the better for it. William Drury issued ...
Chapter 3. Thomas Churchyard’s “Valiant Soldiers” and the “Public State”
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In his introduction to Churchyard’s Choice, Thomas Churchyard, one of the most prolific of Elizabethan soldier poets, declares that “before all other things (except the honoring of Prince and public state) a true writer ought of duty, to have in...
Chapter 4. A Tale of Two Cities
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George Gascoigne went to war for the time-honored reason of having burned the bridges to just about every personal relationship and professional opportunity he had. The clever, well-educated, but self-consciously feckless son of a well-to-do...
Chapter 5. John Donne’s Emblem of War
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Not often enough do we think of John Donne’s life as a soldier when evaluating his poetry and sermons. He did not call much attention to his military service, nor was his military service as extensive as Churchyard’s or Gascoigne’s, but a soldier...
Chapter 6. John Harington’s Journey Home
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John Harington writes in his epigram “Of the wars in Ireland” that war “maketh all things sweet” (ln. 4).1 He plays on the “dulce bellum inexpertis” theme derived from Erasmus and developed earlier, as we have seen, by Gascoigne, but for Harington...
Chapter 7. Remembering Soldiers
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I began this book talking about how, for modern readers, Elizabethan England is buried under centuries of misleading assumptions about how that society was unified around its military policy. In the chapters that followed, I examined the writings of ...
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2009