Tutor: John Cooper
Module type: MA Option
Module code: HIS00023M
This course looks at major themes in English political, cultural and intellectual history from the accession of Henry VIII to the early seventeenth century. This was the age of the printing press, the Reformation, and the English Renaissance. Then as now, poetry and drama were produced to amuse and entertain. But writing fulfilled many other functions in early modern England. Poets used their craft both to influence the exercise of political power, and to shelter from the dangers of life at court. Governments commissioned printed propaganda to foster obedience and condemn rebellion. Books became the battleground between the traditional Catholic religion and the new Protestant faith. This course has a dual agenda: to place literary texts in their historical context; and to question when, and how, they may be used as historical evidence.
The likely seminar programme is as follows: