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  • Prof. B.V. Toshev
    Just Received (membership): RENAISANCE STUDIES. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR RENAISSANCE STUDIES ISSN 0269-1213 (Wiley-Blackwell) [Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 5, 2012

      Just Received (membership):


      Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1

      Editor: J. Richards


      ToC: Renaissance Studies, Volume 26, Number 2, April 2012


      C. Preedy. Bringing the house down: religion and the household in Marlowe's Jew of Malta (p. 163)

      Notes: 51

      Christopher Marlowe's depictions of religious conflict engage with major political and national issues, but they also acknowledge the domestic implications of such conflict. In sixteenth-century England, theological dissent split households as well as nations, and Marlowe introduces his audiences to characters who cite religious precedents to justify domestic treason: committed in the name of religion, their actions fracture families, and turn servants against masters. Marlowe's interest in households devastated by religious difference is most evident in The Jew of Malta. As this article argues, Malta's households are destroyed by characters who use religious rhetoric to rationalise self-interested and anti-social agendas: the anti-Semitic Ferneze, seizing Barabas' property; Barabas, killing a daughter who varies from him in religion; and Ithimore the Turk, betraying his Jewish master. This article suggests that Marlowe's play responds to contemporary experiences of religious persecution, in particular the Protestant state's campaign to eradicate the English recusant household, and concludes that Marlowe is, within a domestic setting, exposing the hypocritical appropriation of religious rhetoric by characters selfinterestedly pursuing purely secular advantage.

      A. Overell, S.C. Lucas. Whose wonderful news? Italian satire and William Baldwin's Wonderfull Newes of the Death of Paule the III (p. 183)

      Notes: 67

      About the year 1552, the celebrated mid-Tudor author William Baldwin released Wonderfull Newes of the Death of Paul the III, his translation of a satirical and scandalous account of Pope Paul III's supposed arrival in hell. For over a century, influential Anglophone scholars and bibliographers have ascribed the original of Baldwin's work, the anonymous Epistola de morte Pauli tertii (1549), to the Lutheran reformer, Matthias Flacius, who was based in Germany. This article challenges that attribution, showing that there is no evidence for Flacius' authorship. Instead, it locates the Epistola in a community of Italian religious exiles publishing in Basel and identifies the fiercely anti-papal polemicist Pier Paolo Vergerio as the most likely author. In reopening the authorship question, the essay examines the motives behind the creation of this work and shows how Renaissance anti-papalism traversed confessional and geographical boundaries. The conclusion traces the intricate international network through which this topical Italian satire probably reached William Baldwin, whose translation became one of the most daring texts of the earlier Tudor period.

      E. Gurney. Thomas More and the problem of charity (p. 197)

      Notes: 67

      This article examines the impact and influence of the term `charity' in the polemical exchange between Thomas More and William Tyndale. Much of More's criticism of Tyndale's unauthorized 1526 New Testament centres on this word, or rather its absence, as Tyndale opted to translate agape with the more general term `love'. Matters of linguistic usage traversed more complicated questions of interpretation and rhetoric, however, even as scriptural imperatives to perform charity lent sanction and urgency to both writers. Indeed, Tyndale's translation represented to More the larger dangers implicit in charity, which was vulnerable to misappropriation (as well as mistranslation) by heretics. This essay places their debate in the context of contemporary developments in poor relief, which exhibit comparable hermeneutic tendencies, ultimately suggesting that the problem of the heretic and the problem of the false beggar posed similar challenges to `charitable' readers during the period.

      C. Whistler. Uncovering beauty: Titian's Triumph of Love in the Vendramin collection (p. 218)

      Notes: 98

      An allegory of the power of love by Titian painted about 1543–46 was originally made as a cover for a female portrait in the collection of Gabriel Vendramin (1484–1552) in Venice. This is a rare instance of the survival of a documented canvas cover (timpano) linked to a specific image. My article considers the visual and literary contexts for such covers, and the cultural setting of the Vendramin collection, where sociable viewing involved shared aesthetic and haptic experiences. I suggest that the lost portrait depicted the Venetian patrician Elisabetta Querini Massola (d. 1559) whose virtue and beauty were celebrated in poems by Pietro Bembo, Pietro Aretino and Giovanni della Casa. I link the imagery of the cover to two sonnets by Della Casa in praise of Elisabetta. For reasons of decorum a timpano would have been appropriate for a noblewoman's portrait, but Titian's inventive allegory was designed both to evoke Vendramin's celebrated collection and to recall qualities associated with the image it concealed.

      C.M. Richarson. St Joseph, St Peter, Jean Gerson and the Guelphs (p. 243)

      Notes: 84

      The representation of St Joseph in Renaissance art has attracted scholarly attention in recent years, but not that of St Peter. Considering his prevalence in late antique and medieval art, Peter's artistic representation in the early modern period is remarkably rare. This article finds that the two saints were inextricably linked, particularly after the period of councils in the first half of the fifteenth century. It examines the significance of their conflation through the writings of Jean Gerson at the Council of Constance when the role and nature of a single pope to replace the three of the Great Schism was being debated. Joseph, as protector of the Holy Family and of the infant Jesus, was paralleled with Peter who accompanied the adult Christ: Joseph's marriage to the Virgin Mary was a model for the metaphorical marriage of Christ to his Church which he delegated Peter to look after as his vicar. Therefore Joseph was a model for the successors of Peter – the popes – to follow. The imagery was particularly relevant in a Guelph context, which ensured its prevalence until the period of the Italian Wars.

      D.M. Unger. The pope, the painter, and the dynamics of social standing in the Stanza della Segnatura (p. 269)

      Notes: 44

      Raphael's School of Athens received much attention in modern scholarship, yet little attention was given to the anonymous figures of classical beauty that are scattered, not only in this particular painting, but also in the Disputà, the painting on the opposite wall of the stanza. In this article, the focus of attention will be on three such figures in the School of Athens, which are situated on the left side of the painting. The three, a baby, a boy, and a young man, differ from all the other anonymous figures in this part of the painting in that they have their heads turned to the right and are gazing directly at the viewer. They will be considered as a group that may have had two purposes, both of which relate to political narratives. The first purpose was to accentuate the image and meaning of the pope – Julius II; the second, to draw attention to the painter's self-portrait and his social agenda. Their placement together is based on a peculiar composition that has a precedent in Florentine mural painting.

      Review of Exhibitions (p. 288): 3 reviews

      Book Reviews (p. 308): 5 reviews.


      DISCOVER BULGARIA: Belogradchik



    • Prof. B.V. Toshev
      Just Received (membership): RENAISANCE STUDIES. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR RENAISSANCE STUDIES ISSN 0269-1213 (Wiley-Blackwell) [Cover image for Vol. 26
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 7, 2012

        Just Received (membership):


        Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1

        Editor: J. Richards


        ToC: Renaissance Studies, Volume 26, Number 3, June 2012


        S. McIntosh. The massacre of St Bartholomew on the English stage: Chapman, Marlowe, and the Duke of Guise (p. 325)

        Notes: 43

        This article considers a passage in George Chapman's The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois in which the hero of the play defends his patron, the Duke of Guise, for his participation in the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Investigating why Chapman would have his protagonist make such a controversial utterance, it argues that he was responding to earlier reports of the same period in news-books, pamphlets, Marlowe's Massacre at Paris and his own earlier tragedy Bussy D'Ambois. It is suggested that the faction of Clermont and the Guise consistently voices opinions that might be understood in light of Andrew Hadfield's description of literary republicanism. Therefore, Chapman's reminder to the audience is part of an ongoing attempt to construct a double vision of the Guise: from one perspective he is an admirable character who virtuously resists a tyrannical monarch, but on the other hand echoes of his villainous reputation remain, as a defensive strategy on Chapman's part, to prevent him clashing with censors over the political opinions expressed by this character. Finally, the article suggests that this play constitutes a cautionary warning to Prince Henry not to heed the pro-war voices urging him to attack Catholic Europe.

        G. Chapman (1559-1634)

        N. Constantinidou. Public and private, divine and temporal in Justus Lipsius' De Constantia and Politica (p. 345)

        Notes: 88

        The Flemish humanist Justus Lipsius' (1547–1606) two works, the Constantia and the Politica are analysed here as examples of the redefinition of the boundaries between public and private brought about in the late sixteenth century. This was the result of many factors, among which the wars of religion was perhaps the most prominent. Lipsius' experience of the wars, his work, his associated flights and confessional switches make him an ideal commentator on the disjunction between public and private. In the two works under consideration, prudence and constancy are ascribed to the two domains while the different traits of the two virtues reflect on the different moral framework of public and private. The moral superiority of the private realm is associated with the divine through man's personal relationship with God following the Stoic notion of the kinship between human and divine reason. Prudence, an entirely human and temporal virtue, equips man in his conduct through the instability and depravity of temporal/human affairs. Man can still be constant, however, and maintain his morality and religious integrity in private. Thus, in the context of the continuous religious tension and political instability the moral implications of the distinction between the two realms render the discourse of the relationship between public-private and divine-temporal into an issue regarding the limits of ecclesiastical and political jurisdiction.

        D. Cadman. `Th'accession of these mighty States': Daniel's Philotas and the union of crowns (p. 365)

        Notes: 51

        The focus of this article is upon Samuel Daniel's neo-Senecan tragedy, Philotas, a play that has been widely interpreted as a drame à clef about the fall of the Earl of Essex. This article aims to propose an additional, and hitherto overlooked, political subtext in the form of topical allusions to the new king, James I, with Alexander the Great's victory over the Persian king, Darius the Great, and the subsequent conquest of his realms, providing a fitting analogue for James's accession to the English throne. I will argue that contemporary concerns and specific events surrounding the accession – such as James's defence of divine rights, his campaign to unite the kingdoms of Britain, and the excessive number of knighthoods he awarded in the early part of his reign – are interrogated in the play's sub-plot which dramatizes Alexander's assumption of godlike status and the increasing influence of Persian subjects in Macedonian society. This reading thus shows how the play engages with more immediate political concerns alongside certain controversies left over from Elizabeth's reign.

        S. Daniel (1562-1619)

        G.S. Eschrich. Reading Philippe Desportes in Le Rencontre des muses de France et d'Italie (p. 385)

        Notes: 35

        This essay focuses on Le Rencontre des muses de France et d'Italie, a text that is rarely discussed yet is crucially important in the reading and interpretation of Philippe Desportes. Through a close textual analysis of the editor's preface, and of four paired sonnets from Le Rencontre, this study shows Desportes' poetic skills and contributions to early modern poetry, and also how he differentiated himself from his Italian sources. It argues that this volume, possibly compiled with the intention to denounce Desportes' many Italianisms, in fact, turned out to herald his work and further his career, just as other anthologies had done for many sixteenth-century Italian poets. Thus, this analysis enables the reader to reflect on Desportes' imitative style and his vibrant approach to intertextuality, as well as on the importance of Le Rencontre as a significant moment in the poetry of both France and Italy.

        P. Desportes (1546-1606)

        P. Bromilow. Rereading Lucretia in the Angoysses douloureuses qui procedent d'amours (1538) (p. 399)

        Notes: 43

        This article examines the multiple resonances of the Lucretia narrative in the 1538 romance penned by Helisenne de Crenne, the Angoysses douloureuses qui procedent d'amours. Although the work is famous for its representation of female love as sensual, irrational and tragic (qualities shared by the example of Dido) the references to Lucretia enabled readers to activate moralizing and sententious discourses that supplemented and in some cases modified the meaning of the text. Whilst certain comparisons between the protagonist and Lucretia seek to foreground the differences between sinful desire and exemplary conduct, other references to the exemplar extend beyond authorial intention, demonstrating the mulitple extra-textual agents which create meaning in early modern books. This is true of a woodcut of Lucretia possibly reused from an unrelated work, which explicitly represents the exemplar's suicide where the text itself avoids this aspect of her story that was not recommended to the contemporary female readership. Although their primary function may have been to act as a `moral yardstick' by which the reader judged the actions of the female protagonist, the inclusions of Lucretia ultimately permit alternative readings of the work as a celebration rather than a condemnation of adulterous love.

        J.D. Webb. All is not fun and games: conversation, play, and surveillance at the Montefeltro court in Urbino (p. 417)

        Notes: 92

        Works of art and literature commissioned for the Montefeltro court in Urbino and executed by Joos Van Gent, Pedro Berruguete, Baldassare Castiglione and Martino Filetico, use conversation, play, and wit to commemorate humanist interests and court practice. While these and other works celebrate Federico da Montefeltro's court, the illusionism of the intarsia panels in his studiolo do more than amuse. The objects and the uomini illustri portraits that fill the studiolo tease the visitor to the space and point to systems of surveillance and judgment as familiar to the Renaissance courtier as they were to the prisoner in the panopticon.

        P.  Berruguete (1450-1504)

        B. Castiglione (1478-1529)

        Review of Exhibitions (p. 441): 2 reviews

        P. Rackin. Book Review Essay: Stronger than we thought: revisionist studies in women's history (p. 460)

        Notes: 1

        Book Reviews (p. 466): 3 reviews (Roxolana in European Literature, History and Culture; Reading and the History of Race in the Renaissance; Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance). 



      • Prof. B.V. Toshev
        RENAISANCE STUDIES. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR RENAISSANCE STUDIES ISSN 0269-1213 (Wiley-Blackwell) [Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1] Editor: J. Richards
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 5, 2012


          Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1

          Editor: J. Richards


          ToC: Renaissance Studies, Volume 26, Number 4, September 2012


          Special Issue: The intellectual history of early modern empire, guest edited by Andrew Fitzmaurice

          A. Fitzmaurice. Neither neo-Roman nor Liberal empire (p. 479)

          Notes: 36

          [H]istorians have described two contrasting ideologies of European empires, pre-modern and modern, corresponding with two periods of empire. The first underpinned the territorial conquests of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was based upon ideas of conquest and occupation and was neo-Roman, martial and uncomfortable with commerce even while accepting it as a reality from which public life must be insulated.

          A. Weststeijn. Republican empire: colonialism, commerce and corruption in the Dutch Golden Age (p. 491)

          Notes: 67

          [W]riting in the years of twilight between the eclipse of the Roman Republic and the dawn of the Principate, the historian Sallust evocatively epitomized the gradual downfall of Rome's republican past. In the days that liberty reigned supreme, the all-pervading desire for glory had pushed the Roman civitas to incredible heights: distant lands were conquered, foreign peoples subdued, and morality and concord thrived at home. Yet as Sallust bitterly remarked, `when the commonwealth had grown great through toil and the practice of justice . . . then Fortune began to grow cruel and to bring confusion into all our affairs.'

          P. Stern. Corporate virtue: the languages of empire in early modern British Asia (p. 510)

          Notes: 112

          [F]or those many early modern English theorists and statesmen who regarded wealth, accumulation, and even commerce with deep suspicion, the English East India Company was easily damned as the greatest of reprobates. Even amongst overseas traders, it was arguably the least concerned with exporting English manufactures and the most reliant upon the expatriation of specie. Its relatively novel, but hardly unique, form as a chartered, exclusive joint-stock company for foreign trade, which Thomas Hobbes denounced as `double monopolies' incorporated for the purposes of private greed only, only added fuel to the fire.

          T. Hobbes (1588-1679)

          East India Company house

          D.H. Sacks. The true temper of empire: dominion, friendship and exchange in the English Atlantic, c. 1575–1625 (p. 531)

          Notes: 110

          `[E]mpire', a word derived from Latin roots, has multiple meanings in English. Two of them are of particular relevance to this study of the place of trade in imperial thought during the early modern era. In one meaning, conveyed most pointedly in the English Act in Restraint of Appeals of 1533, `empire' refers to a country or state that owes no allegiance to any earthly authority and is free from dependence on the goodwill of any outside master. Use of term distinguishes the place as an autonomous entity possessing unity within its borders, and indicates that its government exercises a form of sovereignty over its inhabitants and territory.

          S. Belmessous. Greatness and decadence in French America (p. 559)

          Notes: 76

          Between 1540 and 1565, the French unsuccessfully attempted to establish colonial settlements in the New World. In Canada, they were defeated by the harshness of winter and the ravages of scurvy; in Brazil, the France Antarctique was destroyed by the Portuguese; in Florida, the French were massacred by the Spaniards. Reflecting on French colonial failures, the humanist essayist Michel de Montaigne famously commented in 1580: `I am afraid our eyes may be greater than our bellies, and that we have more curiosity than capacity.' Quoting Ecclesiastes, he concluded that `We embrace all, but we clench nothing but wind.'

          M. de Montaigne  (1533-1592)

          E. Botella-Ordinas. Exempt from time and from its fatal change': Spanish imperial ideology, 1450–1700 (p. 580)

          Notes: 47

          `[W]e may properly enough date the Rise of the Spanish Power from the year 1503 . . . And perhaps we may as properly fix the year 1588 for the Era of their Declension . . . [when they] lost all Hopes of attaining to Universal Monarchy', wrote Charles Davenant in 1701, and his words became flesh. In Davenant's narrative, Spain played the role of the universal empire opposed to his ideal of balance of power among states. He is seen by some historians as a mere pamphleteer, by others as an analyst of trade. Even recognizing he played the latter role, Davenant, son of a supporter of Cromwell's Western Design against Spain, was not describing a reality but helping create a new one: British imperial ideology, a legitimization for a British universal empire under the pretence of international balance of power. 

          C. Davenant  (1656-1714)


        • Prof. B.V. Toshev
          RENAISANCE STUDIES. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR RENAISSANCE STUDIES ISSN 0269-1213 (Wiley-Blackwell) [Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1] Editor: J. Richards
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 8, 2013


            Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1

            Editor: J. Richards


            ToC: Renaissance Studies, Volume 27, Number 1, February 2013


            J. DeeEclipsed: An overshadowed goddess and the discarded image of Botticelli's Primavera (p. 4)

            Notes: 90

            This article explores the implications of a neglected aspect of that letter to the owner of the Primavera in which Marsilio Ficino pictures the human soul as mirroring the cosmos. The lunar metaphor adopted for the ratio mobilis, middle term of the soul, is found to be an integral feature of his ontology, developed primarily in relation to Aristotelian cosmology. As template for the metaphor, the division of perceptible reality into supralunary and sublunary contrasting halves can be seen to govern the imagery of the Primavera, the contrasting halves of which are centred on a figure with a lunar amulet and inescapable overall resemblance to a lunar deity described in a recently printed and highly popular classical work. Botticelli's painting embodies a metaphysical image of the cosmos reflected in the soul, as outlined in the letter, with the planetary deity Luna as the middle term of both, mediating between the celestial and terrestrial realms of the one and – as ratio– the intellectual and sensual realms of the other. The genre of the Primavera has been obscured. It is a great Quattrocento imago mundi.

            S. TrevisanMildmay Fane's masque Raguaillo d'Oceano (1640): royalism, Puritanism and sea voyages (p. 34)

            Notes: 71

            Raguaillo d'Oceano is a masque composed in 1640 by Mildmay Fane, second Earl of Westmorland, for the entertainment of his own household and friends at his Northamptonshire mansion. It presents in allegorical terms a voyage of discovery: all the peoples from the four continents ask King Oceanus leave to conquer the still-unexplored, fifth corner of the globe, Terra Australis Incognita. Their flashy garments adorned with Latin inscriptions warn against a spiritual and historical disgrace and greed ruling over humankind in spite of geographical boundaries. Raguaillo d'Oceano reveals the official and personal views, on the topical issue of sea voyages, of a Royalist and Puritan land-owning aristocrat with a passion for the sea. The masque voices Fane's criticism of contemporary England's encouragement of state-funded maritime voyages, both from a political and moral point of view, an opinion which is however reconciled with the author's interest in things maritime, from geography to contemporary expeditions, and from navigation to constellations. This essay presents a case-study on the unexpectedly complex cultural history of Raguaillo d'Oceano, as a key to unlock an aristocrat's views on England's increasing attention to its developing overseas commerce and plans for maritime conquest in the 1630s and 1640s.

            P. Baker-BatesBeyond Rome: Sebastiano Del Piombo as a painter of diplomatic gifts (p. 51)

            Notes: 87

            The question of diplomatic gifts has become increasingly center stage in studies of Renaissance art. Their importance has not, however, been considered before in relation to the career of Sebastiano del Piombo at Rome. From the very beginning of his time in the city, however, Sebastiano began to paint works of art that were intended as diplomatic gifts. The two major works examined in this light will be the Visitation commissioned, most likely, by the Venetian government for Queen Claude of France and the Pietà commissioned by Ferrante Gonzaga for Francesco de Los Cobos. The argument will show both how central such commissions became to Sebastiano's career and how they may have affected the development of that career.

            J. Spinks. Print and polemic in sixteenth-century France: the Histoires prodigieuses, confessional identity, and the Wars of Religion (p. 73)

            Notes: 98

            The second half of the sixteenth century saw the rise of the wonder book as a distinct genre shaped by religious conflict. These often richly illustrated compendia presented extraordinary events intended to inspire both fear and wonder. In France, wonder books appeared primarily during the Wars of Religion (1562–98). The most important was Pierre Boaistuau's 1560 Histoires prodigieuses, which appeared in revised editions incorporating new texts by Claude Tesserant, François de Belleforest, Arnauld Sorbin, Rod. Hoyer, and the unidentified `I. D. M.' through until 1598. This article surveys the complex publication history of the Histoires prodigieuses and its changing presentation of prodigious disasters and wonders like famines, floods, plagues, monstrous births and earthquakes, and examines some of the textual and visual means by which the Histoires prodigieuses reflected the violent disorder of the Wars of Religion. It focuses particularly on the shift from a publication first written by Protestant Pierre Boaistuau, and then updated and revised by Catholic authors including François de Belleforest and Arnauld Sorbin, in order to examine new aspects of polemical print culture in sixteenth-century France.

            M. WilsonWatching flesh: poison and the fantasy of temporal control in Renaissance England (p. 97)

            Notes: 46

            During the Renaissance, English writers often depict poison as a weapon capable of transforming a victim's body into a timepiece, with death predictable to the year, month, day, and hour. English literary works, especially dramatic ones, however, contain numerous instances of poisons that fail to act precisely, or to act as intended. These failures serve as a useful departure point for exploring Renaissance ideas of clock-time. The dream of temporal control represented by poison promises an alignment between timepieces and bodies. When poisons fail to create this promised synchronicity, they reveal both the interdependence of bodies and horological devices and the difficulties in regulating either one.

            E. Herdman. `Amethystus Princeps Sobrietatis': signing a sixteenth-century pledge (p. 114)

            Notes: 68

            Against the backdrop of Montaigne's philosophical and ethical discussion of drunkenness, ecstasy and excess in `De l'yvrongnerie', this article introduces the literary society founded in the 1570s by Johann Posthius and Paul Melissus in reaction to the licentiousness they perceived in Germany's long-established drinking culture. Through analysis of the anthology of neo-Latin verse that they consequently compiled, the Collegii Posthimelissaei Votum, their humanist society may be seen to have been founded out of a combination of religious, patriotic and vocational concerns. The significance of the Collegium's symbol, the amethyst, is examined in the light of the religious background to the vow – a background which is then balanced against the equal influences upon the Collegium of the satirical tradition surrounding Germany's drinking culture, and of the two founders' respective professions: medicine and poetry. Yet the anthology reveals that the Collegium was also motivated by more private concerns: the promotion of sober poetry both as a metaphorically purer form of wine and as a metonym for the friendship between sober poets that in itself resembles a form of ecstasy found in Montaigne.

            Review of Exhibition (p. 133): 1 review

            Notes: 15

            Book Review Essay (p. 141): 1 review

            Book Reviews (p. 146): 5 reviews (Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare; Ireland in the Renaissance: c. 1540–1660; The History of the Book in the West: 1455–1700; Sabbioneta Cryptic City; The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England).

            Reviewed by B.V. Toshev, 8 February 2013

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