Renaissance English poetry was closely involved with affairs of state: some poets held high office, others wrote to influence those in power and to sway an increasingly independent public opinion. In this revised edition of his groundbreaking study, David Norbrook offers a clear account of the issues that engaged the passions of such leading figures as Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, and John Milton, and provides introductions to a host of neglected writers.
"One of the most important critical books of the last twenty years.... The book concludes with a characteristically thoughtful and generous afterword on developments in the field. It will be an education for all those interested in historically based literary studies to observe Norbrook thinking through these developments."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 Praise for the previous edition: "This bold, finely researched and well-written book should have a decisive effect on our thinking about the poetry of the English Renaissance."--Frank Kermode, Times Literary Supplement
"This is a successfully ambitious book.... makes better sense than any I know of the relation of poetry in this period to the pre-revolutionary world in which the poets lived.'"--Christopher Hill, Notes and Queries