Languages of Statecraft between Chaucer and Shakespeare
312 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268041144 | May 2005
Hardcover | 9780268041137 | May 2005
Taking points of departure from Quentin Skinner and J. G. A. Pocock, Paul Strohm deploys superior powers of textual and linguistic analysis to uncover a 'pre-Machiavellian moment': an historical phase which saw political discourse deployed with unprecedented slipperiness and subtlety; a time when it was thought possible not just to follow Fortune, but to jam her turning wheel. That this should have occurred in the fifteenth century, a period regarded as too dull, tradition-bound, or chaotic for significant discursive innovation, is just one of the surprises of this remarkable book. Little-regarded writers such as Fortescue and Pecock, Whethamstede and Warkworth, emerge as figures of compelling interest; John Lydgate, once dismissed as Chaucer's dullest successor, opens paths to the Mirror for Magistrates and to the heart of Shakespearean history. This book is recommended to scholars and students of medieval and Renaissance history and literature and to all those fascinated by languages of conspiracy, destiny, and government. -David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Paul Strohm is Anna S. Garbedian Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.
"In Politique Paul Strohm explores selected fifteenth- and sixteenth-century literary and historical texts, observing political attitudes and terminology as both changed under pressure from the vicissitudes of unstable royal government and focusing mainly on England's pre-Machiavellian movement, 1450-85, roughly the era of the Yorkist-Lancastarian dynastic wars. . . Not the least of the pleasures of this book are Strohm's abilities to cut back and forth between Tudor and the later medieval and to write in a style that is clear and accessible". —Speculum ~Speculum