Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612
The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612


  • 11 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.388 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521030946)

The Poetics of English Nationhood is a 1996 study of the formation of English national identity during the early modern period. Claire McEachern aims to recontextualize our understanding of the term literary through an examination of Spenser, Shakespeare and Drayton. She shows how the concept of nationality in their work is always fluid; it crucially depends on a sense of intimacy that exends across and beyond hierarchies and boundaries. McEachern shows how those texts we traditionally label literary already encode and personify power, thereby sealing the intimacy which binds the nation as an imagined community. The representation of faith, fatherland and crown in Tudor texts continually personified English political institutions, promoting an enduring social order and collective unity. By focusing on the rhetorical forms of cultural unity in Tudor texts, McEachern traces a profound shift from a monarchically defined Englishness to a system based within the cultural institution of the common law.

• Moves beyond recent New Historicism approaches to Renaissance


List of figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. This England; 2. Sects and the single woman: Spenser's national romance; 3. Speaking in common: Henry V and the paradox of the body politic; 4. Putting the 'poly' back in Poly-Olbion: British union and the borders of the English nation; Epilogue; Notes; Index.

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis