Law and Empire in English Renaissance Literature
Early modern literature played a key role in the formation of the legal justification for imperialism. As the English colonial enterprise developed, the existing legal tradition of common law no longer solved the moral dilemmas of the new world order, in which England had become, instead of a victim of Catholic enemies, an aggressive force with its own overseas territories. Writers of romance fiction employed narrative strategies in order to resolve this difficulty and, in the process, provided a legal basis for English imperialism. Brian Lockey analyses works by such authors as Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney in the light of these legal discourses, and uncovers new contexts for the genre of romance. Scholars of early modern literature, as well as those interested in the history of law as the British Empire emerged, will learn much from this insightful and ambitious study.
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Alberico Gentili Amadıīs Amerindians Amphilanthus Ancient Constitution Arcadia attempt barbarism Barnabe Riche Basilius Belarius Book Britain British Brittany Calidore Casas Catholic century Chancery chivalry Christian civil lawyers civil-law Coke Coke’s common lawyers common-law courts conﬂict conquered conquest contemporary context CSPV custom Cymbeline Cymbeline’s defend deﬁnes discourse doctrine ecclesiastical courts Edmund Spenser Elizabethan England English common law English law English legal episode equity ethical Euarchus Faerie Queene ﬁctional ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst foreign Francisco de Vitoria Gentili Guiderius Hadﬁeld History Ibid identiﬁed identity imperial incest inﬂuence Ireland Ireneus Irish James justice King king’s Knaﬂa knight legal traditions London Lord Chancellor Ellesmere narrative nation natural law natural-law Old Arcadia original Ortuīn˜ez’s pastoral Pheander Politics Posthumus praemunire presents princes readers realm recounts reﬂect reform Renaissance Riche Riche’s romance ﬁction Rome salvage Shakespeare Sidney’s signiﬁcant sovereign Spanish Spenser threat tract trans translation unnatural Urania usurpation View Vitoria Warner writings Wroth York