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  • ISBN: 9780226649115
  • ISBN10: 0226649113

Reading Holinshed's Chronicles

by Annabel Patterson

  • List Price: $81.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/1994
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Holinshed's Chronicles - a massive history of England, Scotland, and Ireland - has traditionally been read as the source material for many of Shakespeare's plays or as an archaic form of history writing. In the first major study of this sixteenth-century masterpiece, Annabel Patterson insists that the Chronicles be read in their own right as an important and inventive cultural history. Patterson examines the remarkable collaborative authorship of this history. Although it is known by the name of Raphael Holinshed, editor and major compiler of the 1577 edition, the Chronicles was the work of a group, a collaboration between antiquarians, clergymen, members of Parliament, poets, publishers, and booksellers. Also, since the second edition of 1587 was called in by the Privy Council and revised under supervision, the work constitutes an important test case for the history of early modern censorship. Through a detailed reading, Patterson argues that the Chronicles convey rich insights into the way the Elizabethan middle class understood their society. Responding to the crisis of disunity that resulted from the Reformation, the authors of the Chronicles embodied and encouraged an ideal of justice, what we would now call liberalism, that extended beyond the writing of history into the realms of politics, law, economics, citizenship, class, and gender.
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