Shaping remembrance from Shakespeare to Milton

Phillippy, Patricia (2018) Shaping remembrance from Shakespeare to Milton. Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press. 280p. ISBN 9781108422987


This book examines the textual and material forms used to shape remembrance in the century stretching from the Elizabethan Settlement to the English Civil War. Whether situated in churches or circulating in more flexible, mobile works—manuscript and printed memorials, portraits, needlework, bequests, or antique “rarities”—funeral monuments were ubiquitous in post-Reformation England. Removing these objects from parochial and antiquarian fields of enquiry, I reimagine monuments as pervasively involved with other commemorative works and texts, not least literary works by our most canonical writers. Insofar as this interdisciplinary study considers the sacred and secular aspects of remembrance as they influence artifacts, texts, and the individuals who created and experienced them, it is aligned with scholarship in historical phenomenology. I make use of the flexibility of this approach not only to accommodate history and theory, but also to join the three critical strands of inquiry—religion, materiality and gender—that combine within and mutually structure the project. Adapting a new materialist view of subjectivity as ‘embedded and embodied,’ I situate remembrance between subject and object, life and death, to explore the intertwining of subjects and objects in the dynamic systems of exchange in which early modern men and women experienced loss and recollection.

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