Though British history and identity in the early modern period are intensively researched areas, the role of literature in the construction of 'Britishness' is under-examined. English history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries often overlooks the contribution of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to the formation of the British state. Historians describe 'Britain' as a multiple kingdom, with a long history of conflict. In this 2002 volume, a team of leading Renaissance literary critics read a broad range of texts from the period, including plays of Shakespeare, in light of British history. Prominent historians respond to the issues raised by the volume. This collection opened up a different kind of literary history and has pressing relevance for discussions of 'Britishness'.
British Identities and English Renaissance Literature
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