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Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the English philosopher, statesman and jurist, is best known for developing the empiricist method which forms the basis of modern science. Bacon's writings concentrated on philosophy and judicial reform. His most significant work is the Instauratio Magna comprising two parts - The Advancement of Learning and the Novum Organum. The first part is noteworthy as the first major philosophical work published in English (1605). James Spedding (1808-81) and his co-editors arranged this fourteen-volume edition, published in London between 1857 and 1874, not in chronological order but by subject matter, so that different volumes would appeal to different audiences. The material is divided into three parts: philosophy and general literature; legal works; and letters, speeches and tracts relating to politics. Volume 9, published in 1862, contains letters and political writings from 1595 to 1601, including papers relating to the treason trial of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.
Lady Arbella Stuart, claimant to the English throne, traditionally has been portrayed as either a hero or fool for marrying against King James's edict and attempting to flee from France. This is Stuart's story as she tells it in more than one hundred letters written to relatives, her husband, the royal family, public officials, and friends. Based largely on original manuscripts, this volume reveals a powerful personal and public drama, as Stuart's royal birth and demand for independence place her in conflict with Queen Elizabeth and King James. Verbally gifted, Stuart creates a fictional lover, maneuvers within the patronage network, and, after her marriage, applies her considerable rhetorical skills to solicit favor and freedom. Her own revisions, which are included, offer the reader unusual access to the thinking of a talented Renaissance writer as she shapes her prose. Steen has transcribed, ordered, dated, annotated, and critically analyzed the letters and drafts.
During the early modern period, hundreds of Turks and Moors traded in English and Welsh ports, dazzled English society with exotic cuisine and Arabian horses, and worked small jobs in London, while the "Barbary Corsairs" raided coastal towns and, if captured, lingered in Plymouth jails or stood trial in Southampton courtrooms. In turn, Britons fought in Muslim armies, traded and settled in Moroccan or Tunisian harbor towns, joined the international community of pirates in Mediterranean and Atlantic outposts, served in Algerian households and ships, and endured captivity from Salee to Alexandria and from Fez to Mocha. In Turks, Moors, and Englishmen, Nabil Matar vividly presents new data about Anglo-Islamic social and historical interactions. Rather than looking exclusively at literary works, which tended to present unidimensional stereotypes of Muslims—Shakespeare's "superstitious Moor" or Goffe's "raging Turke," to name only two—Matar delves into hitherto unexamined English prison depositions, captives' memoirs, government documents, and Arabic chronicles and histories. The result is a significant alternative to the prevailing discourse on Islam, which nearly always centers around ethnocentrism and attempts at dominance over the non-Western world, and an astonishing revelation about the realities of exchange and familiarity between England and Muslim society in the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. Concurrent with England's engagement and "discovery" of the Muslims was the "discovery" of the American Indians. In an original analysis, Matar shows how Hakluyt and Purchas taught their readers not only about America but about the Muslim dominions, too; how there were more reasons for Britons to venture eastward than westward; and how, in the period under study, more Englishmen lived in North Africa than in North America. Although Matar notes the sharp political and colonial differences between the English encounter with the Muslims and their encounter with the Indians, he shows how Elizabethan and Stuart writers articulated Muslim in terms of Indian, and Indian in terms of Muslim. By superimposing the sexual constructions of the Indians onto the Muslims, and by applying to them the ideology of holy war which had legitimated the destruction of the Indians, English writers prepared the groundwork for orientalism and for the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conquest of Mediterranean Islam. Matar's detailed research provides a new direction in the study of England's geographic imagination. It also illuminates the subtleties and interchangeability of stereotype, racism, and demonization that must be taken into account in any responsible depiction of English history.
Popular American essayist, novelist, and journalist CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER (1829-1900) was renowned for the warmth and intimacy of his writing, which encompassed travelogue, biography and autobiography, fiction, and more, and influenced entire generations of his fellow writers. Here, the prolific writer turned editor for his final grand work, a splendid survey of global literature, classic and modern, and it's not too much to suggest that if his friend and colleague Mark Twain-who stole Warner's quip about how "everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it"-had assembled this set, it would still be hailed today as one of the great achievements of the book world. Highlights from Volume 3 include: . selections from Emile Augier's The Adventuress . selections from Saint Augustine's Confessions . writings of Jane Austen . essays and letters of Francis Bacon . literary and political criticism by Walter Bagehot . the ballads of Robin Hood, Childe Maurice, and others . selections from the works of Honor de Balzac . and much, much more.
The Renaissance is presently the focus for all the new critical theories that reexamine literary texts: feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, postmodernism, and cultural poetics. Renaissance Historicism collects some of the best essays that illustrate all the major traditional methods of historical literary criticism as well as the wide range of new critical perspectives by established authorities and important new voices. Already hailed in Studies in English Literature as the collection which caused "the New Historicism" to enter "into scholarly canonicity," this volume is both an introduction to and survey of a rapidly growing field of debate and achievement. The range of this volume is unmatched in the viewpoints it employs and in the texts and genres it reconsiders. A new preface reviews succinctly all the methods--old and new, scholarly and critical--brought into play by the contributors. The accessibility of the contents makes this collection equally valuable as an introduction to historicism and literary texts and as a reference for future study.

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