Victoria Moul's groundbreaking study uncovers one of the most important features of early modern English poetry: its bilingualism. The first guide to a forgotten literary landscape, this book considers the vast quantities of poetry that were written and read in both Latin and English from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Introducing readers to a host of new authors and drawing on hundreds of manuscript as well as print sources, it also reinterprets a series of landmarks in English poetry within a bilingual literary context. Ranging from Tottel's miscellany to the hymns of Isaac Watts, via Shakespeare, Jonson, Herbert, Marvell, Milton and Cowley, this revelatory survey shows how the forms and fashions of contemporary Latin verse informed key developments in English poetry. As the complex, highly creative interactions between the two languages are revealed, the work reshapes our understanding of what 'English' literary history means.
David Wilson-Okamura - East Carolina University
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