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By Thomas N. Corns

A background of Seventeenth-century Literature outlines major advancements within the English literary culture among the years 1603 and 1690. an brisk and provocative background of English literature from 1603-1690. a part of the key Blackwell heritage of English Literature sequence. Locates seventeenth-century English literature in its social and cultural contexts. Considers the actual stipulations of literary creation and intake. appears on the advanced political, spiritual, cultural and social pressures on seventeenth-century writers. gains shut serious engagement with significant authors and texts. Thomas Corns is a massive overseas authority on Milton, the Caroline courtroom, and the political literature of the English Civil warfare and the Interregnum.

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1995: 199) As laws against oppositional discourse were made more severe, so too were the mechanisms of press control refined. The Star Chamber Decree of 1586 assumed that the best way to control the book trade was to scrutinize especially closely the earliest phase of book production: the work of printers. The Company’s rights and obligations of search and control were strengthened, while, most significantly, the actual number of printing presses and of their operatives was reduced. A census of presses and materials was expeditiously instituted, and no new presses were to be permitted until the number of master printers had been reduced by natural wastage to a total to be determined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, who emerged as powerful figures in the control of the trade.

The whole performance plays to and moves towards the king, though there is some doubt as to how entertaining its content would have seemed to the cerebral James, who did not himself masque in England. But Busino is alert, too, to how the masque discloses a significant shift of power within the royal circle. Buckingham’s eminence and his future progress are plainly recognized.

In general, though, that regime was comprehensive and effective. It emanated directly from the crown, where an ambiguous attitude to the stage prevailed. The Lord Chamberlain was responsible for royal entertainment, most significantly during the protracted festivities around Christmas. To this end, a flourishing London stage was necessary to provide command performances in temporary performing spaces at court. All early Privy Council discussions of stage control prioritize the provision of entertainment at court, which constitutes its primary raison d’eˆtre.

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