The culture of cloth in early modern England

HENTSCHELL Roze

The culture of cloth in early modern England : textual constructions of a national identity

Aldershot : Ashgate, 2008, 1 vol. (VIII-209 p.).

ISBN 978-0-7546-6301-0

GB 188

Résumé :
Through its exploration of the intersections between the culture of the wool broadcloth industry and the literature of the early modern period, this study contributes to the expanding field of material studies in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. The author argues that it is impossible to comprehend the development of emerging English nationalism during that time period, without considering the culture of the cloth industry. She shows that, reaching far beyond its status as a commodity of production and exchange, industry was also a locus for organizing sentiments of national solidarity across social and economic divisions. Hentschell looks to textual productions – both imaginative and non-fiction works that often treat the cloth industry with mythic importance – to help explain how cloth came to be a catalyst for nationalism. Each chapter ties a particular mode, such as pastoral, prose romance, travel propaganda, satire, and drama, with a specific issue of the cloth industry, demonstrating the distinct work different literary genres contributed to what the author terms the « culture of cloth ».

Table des matières :

Introduction : Ancient, famous, and decayed : The culture of cloth in early modern England

Part 1 : Resistance in the flock : labor rebellion in pastoral poetry and prose romance
1. Pasture and pastoral : sheep, anti-enclosure literature, and Sidney’s seditious peasants
2. Clothworkers and social protest : the case of Thomas Deloney

Part 2 : The circulation of subjectivity in the cloth trade
3. « Vente for our English clothes » : promoting early new world expansion
4. Treasonous textiles : foreign cloth, and the construction of englishness

Part 3 : Staging the cloth crisis
5. The fleecing of England, or the drama of corrupt drapers : Thomas Middleton’s Michaelmas term
6. Politics on parade : the cockayne project and Anthony Munday’s civic pageants for the drapers

Axe de recherches :

  • Axe transversal : Cultures visuelles

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