Poly-Olbion: New Perspectives
Title Details

267 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

20 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Poly-Olbion: New Perspectives

Edited by Andrew McRae and Philip Schwyzer

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
First collection devoted to the Poly-Olbion, bringing out in particular its concerns with nature and the environment.
Poly-Olbion (1612-1622), the collaborative work of the poet Michael Drayton, the legal scholar John Selden, and the engraver William Hole, ranks among the most remarkable literary productions of early modern England, and arguably among the most important. An ambitious and idiosyncratic survey of the history, topography, and ecology of England and Wales - ranging in its preoccupations from the supernatural conception of Merlin to the curious habits of beavers, and from celebrations of martial glory to laments over the diminishment of woodlands - the book seems determined to pack all of national and natural history between its covers. In the course of thirty songs, Drayton's Muse traverses a varying landscape in which personified rivers, hills, and forests sing of past glories and disasters, pursuing local and regional rivalries whilst propounding a heterogeneous vision of Britain. However, perhaps because of its very uniqueness, it has received relatively little critical attention.
This is the first ever volume of essays on Poly-Olbion, and a reflection of the work's increasing prominence in scholarship on the literature and culture of early modern England: the poem has long been central to critical studies of early modern nationhood and nationalism, but in the last decade it has also assumed a central place in discussions of pre-modern approaches to ecological sustainability and environmental degradation. The contributors here address questions about the form and purpose of Poly-Olbion, as well as engaging with these dominant critical debates, reflecting the extent to which the preoccupations of Drayton and his collaborators have become our own.
Introduction - Andrew McRae and Philip Schwyzer
Part I: The Project of Poly-Olbion
1. Drayton's Copious Chorography - Angus Vine
2. 'If the Page satisfie not, inquire in the Margine': The Ordinatio and Mise-en-Page of Poly-Olbion - Sjoerd Levelt
Part II: Environment and Ecology
3. Of Albion's 'sundry varying soyles': The Land and its Human Occupants in Poly-Olbion - Andrew McRae
4. Bioregional Visions in Poly-Olbion - Todd Andrew Borlik
5. Drayton's Fish - Andrew Hadfield
6. Curls to Curled Waves: Romance and Ecomaterial Assemblages in Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion - Shannon Garner-Balandrin
7. Maritime Olbion; or, 'th'Oceans Island' - Bernhard Klein
Part III: The British Past in Drayton's Songs and Selden's Illustrations
8. Locating Continuity: The Early Religion of Albion in Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion - Daniel Cattell
9. Michael Drayton: National Bard and Genealogist - Sara Trevisan
10. 'The Wonders of the Deep': Drayton, Selden, and Deep Time - Philip Schwyzer
Bibliography

ANDREW MCRAE is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Exeter.

PHILIP SCHWYZER is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Exeter.

Hardcover

9781843845485

February 2020

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9781787448919

February 2020

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Title Details

267 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

20 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Imprint: D.S.Brewer