From Library Journal
Prompted by Edmund Spenser's question, "Why a God's name, may not we, as else the Greeks, have the kingdom of our own language?", literary historian Helgerson views 16th-century England as a kingdom in search of its national identity. He analyzes examples of poetry, law, cartographic descriptions, accounts of overseas expansion, theater, and religious opinion of the times, using such diverse works as Spenser's Faerie Queene , Coke's Institutes of the Laws of England , Camden's Britannia , Speed's Theater of the Empire of Great Britain , Drayton's Poly-Olbion , Hakluyt's Principal Navigations of the English Nation , Shakespeare's English history plays, and Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. He then skillfully demonstrates how each of these works, in its own way, reflected England's attempt to resolve the conflict between antiquity and the Middle Ages, find its place on the map, question monarchic power, and represent social communities, in a unique era of national self understanding. Recommended for academic libraries.- Jacqueline Adams, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
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