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Reading a wide range of early modern authors and exploring their cultural-historical, philosophical and scientific contexts, Early Modern Writing and the Privatization of Experience examines the shift in focus from reliance on shared experience to placing of trust in individualized experience which occurs in the writing and culture of the period. Nick Davis contends that much of the era's literary production participates significantly in this broad cultural movement. Covering key writers of the period including Shakespeare, Donne, Chaucer, Spenser, Langland, Hobbes and Bunyan, Davis begins with an overview of the medieval-early modern privatizing cultural transition. He then goes on to offer an analysis of King Lear, Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, The Winter's Tale, and the first three books of The Fairie Queene, among other texts, considering their treatment of the relation between individual life and the life attributed to the cosmos, the idea of symbolic narrative positing a collective human subject, and the forming of pragmatic relations between individual and group.
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