Literature nationalism and memory by Philip Schwyzer

By Philip Schwyzer

The Tudor period has lengthy been linked to the increase of nationalism in England, but nationalist writing during this interval frequently concerned the denigration and outright denial of Englishness. Philip Schwyzer argues that the traditional, insular, and imperial state imagined within the works of writers comparable to Shakespeare and Spenser used to be no longer England, yet Britain. Disclaiming their Anglo-Saxon ancestry, the English sought their origins in a nostalgic imaginative and prescient of British antiquity. concentrating on texts together with The Faerie Queene, English and Welsh antiquarian works, The reflect for Magistrates, Henry V and King Lear, Schwyzer charts the genesis, improvement and disintegration of British nationalism within the 16th and early 17th centuries. a massive contribution to the increasing scholarship on early sleek Britishness, this research supplies targeted consciousness to Welsh texts and traditions, arguing that Welsh assets crucially stimulated the advance of English literature and identification.

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240. See also C. Dean, Arthur of England: English Attitudes to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), pp. 26–27. Williams, Renewal and Reformation, p. 237. ‘‘First Provincial Progress of Henry VII,’’ in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, ed. David N. Klausner, REED (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1990), pp. 406, 409. The content and political context of the Worcester pageant is discussed in John C. s. 1 (1968), 45–73.

One of the earliest of these voices is heard in the pageant prepared for Henry VII at Worcester in May of 1486. Nine months after his victory at Bosworth, the new king was coming back to the west of England in an angry mood. An abortive rebellion had been raised by Humphrey Stafford in Worcestershire just weeks before, and Henry had commissioned a court to sit in Worcester to investigate treasonous activity. The city fathers made ready to welcome their new monarch, and to beg him to show mercy to the wayward city.

64–86. Spenser’s spark 35 ‘‘Rough Wooing’’ of Scotland under Protector Somerset in the late 1540s. The attempt to impose a union between the crowns of England and Scotland was presented by Somerset and his supporters as a ‘‘British’’ policy. ’’65 Somerset was hailed as the descendant of the British earl who had slain the Saxon Hengist, restoring ‘‘the whole Empire & name of greate Briteigne’’ – the Protector was called upon to emulate his ancestor in performing ‘‘the like restitucion of the name and Empire of great Briteigne’’ (249).

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