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Political Communication and Political Culture in England, 1558-1688


Barbara J. Shapiro


2012

416 pp.
ISBN: 9780804783620
Cloth $65.00
ISBN: 9780804784580
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"This is a splendid and important book in every way. The "political culture" of early-modern England is often discussed but rarely analyzed—and never with the comprehensiveness and clarity of Barbara Shapiro's Political Communication and Political Culture in England, 1558-1688. Drawing on her vast and detailed knowledge of the period, its politics, its thought, and its people, Shapiro has provided a rich, subtle, and very readable account of the multiple sources of political knowledge and understanding. Like all her previous works, Shapiro's book is a breathtaking intellectual treat: it precisely the book we have wanted and needed for a long, long time."—Gordon Schochet, Rutgers University

"There is no doubt that Barbara Shapiro's latest book is a major and original contribution to existing scholarship, concerning the influence of aesthetic genres, events, and artifacts over the development of early modern English political culture. As I have come to expect from this author, the depth and breadth of research are outstanding. Shapiro provides a beautifully written, much-needed overview of the historiography of the period, from the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558 to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The importance of the book lies not only in the expert handling and synthesis of complex and eclectic material, but also in providing a compelling analysis of a compendious body of work."—Paul Raffield, University of Warwick

This book surveys the channels through which political ideas and knowledge were conveyed to the English people from the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth I to the Revolution of 1688. Shapiro argues that an assessment of English political culture requires an examination of all means by which this culture was expressed and communicated. While the discussion focuses primarily on genres such as the sermon, newsbook, poetry, and drama, it also considers the role of events and institutions. Shapiro is the first to explore and elucidate the entire web of communication in early modern English political life.

Barbara Shapiro is Professor in the Graduate School and Emerita Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.




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