Enigma and Revelation in Renaissance English literature

Helen Cooney & Mark S. Sweetnam, editors

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-281-0
May 2012. 246pp.

‘With a welcome sensitivity to the religious (and hence sectarian) cultures of the period, Cooney introduces the volume by reminding the reader of the complex and often violent intersections between Renaissance humanism and the Protestant Reformation … In all, the ten essays offered demonstrate the centrality of the dual notions of “enigma” and “revelation” in English literature of the period', John R. Burton, The Year's Work in English Studies (2014).

‘A commendable collection of twelve diverse and engaging essays … [includes] John Scattergood’s excellent opening essay on John Skelton … Deirdre Serjeantson’s compelling analysis of Anne Lock and her literary authority … [and] Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin offers fascinating insight into how the necessary restrictions of meaning in translation can be fertile areas for invention … Mark Sweetnam [gives an] excellent study of Donne’s use of arcane imperii … That so many of these essays, operating across such a spectrum of early modern focal points, can offer or employ as guidance the perspicacious words of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is testament to the breadth of her scholarly influence on her former students, colleagues and the wider academic community … [this book is] admirable, accomplished and enlightening in its scope and diversity', Cian O'Mahony, UCC, Óenach: journal of the FMRSI (2014).

‘A fittingly eclectic approach to Renaissance English literature … the twin notions of enigma and revelation, including their biblical associations, are opened up to a multiplicity of interpretations and readings, and are examined organically, flexibly, and in sometimes surprising ways in the essays included … with contributions from emerging and established academics, Enigma and Revelation covers considerable ground … taken collectively, the essays contribute toward the goals of the volume, but individual essays offer up engaging close readings, springboards for further research and new takes on canonical works, and are even in quality and insight … the essays converge in a volume that speaks both to the figure to whom it is dedicated and to many relevant issues in current Renaissance English literature studies. This is an excellent volume and would be an asset to any library', Kathleen Miller, The Spenser Review (Spring-Summer 2013).

‘[These essays] are useful, interesting and erudite selections of scholarship and are a testament to Ní Chuillanáin and her formidable network of students and colleagues … all of the essays would be useful for a variety of scholars and collectively they succeed in providing a valuable exploration of the differences between secular ambiguity and religious mystery', Gavin Schwartz-Leeper, Sixteenth-Century Journal (Winter 2013).

‘This is a collection of essays by twelve students and friends of the distinguished poet and scholar, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin … Two absorbing essays on seventeenth-century literature are Mark S. Sweetnam’s on the arcane imperii in Donne’s sermons and Crawford Gribben’s on Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House” … the contribution by John Flood is a real keeper for anyone studying early modern women writers', Richard F. Hardin, Renaissance Quarterly (2013).