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.

This volume explores how the literature of the English Renaissance was informed by and involved with the twin concepts of ‘enigma’ and ‘revelation’. The collection includes new readings of poetry, prose and play-texts. Taken together, these ten essays suggest that ‘enigma’ and ‘revelation’ (both terms which have profound biblical connotations) are at the very heart of English literature of the Henrician, the Elizabethan and the Jacobean courts. Each of the essays is radical in the readings it offers of an individual text and their myriad contexts, by turns political, religious and linguistic/aesthetic. However, the cumulative force of these studies is to suggest that ‘enigma’ and ‘revelation’ were in fact characteristic of, and even central to, the composition and interpretation of the literature of the English Renaissance.

Contributors: Helen Cooney (TCD), John Flood (U Gronigen), Crawford Gribben (TCD), Thomas Herron (East Carolina U), Rory Loughnane (Syracuse U), W.J. Mc Cormack (U London), Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin (TCD), Paris O’Donnell (Oxford U), John Scattergood (TCD), Erin Sebo (TCD), Deirdre Serjeantson (U Essex), Mark S. Sweetnam (TCD).

Helen Cooney is Research Associate at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. Her chief research interests include Chaucer and Spenser; fifteenth-century allegory; medieval and Renaissance aesthetics and poetics. Mark S. Sweetnam is a Research Fellow in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests are primarily in the area of literature and theology, with a particular focus on the early modern period.