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Sport, Politics, and Literature in the English Renaissance

by Gregory M. Colón Semenza


         ISBN: 978-1611492385

         Published in 2004

         $75.00

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This is the first book-length study of the crucial relationship between sport and the political and imaginative literature of Renaissance England. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, educators, medical practitioners, and military scientists were among the many contemporaries who praised sport as necessary and functional—physiologically beneficial to the individual practitioner, vital to the preparedness of the military, and necessary to the maintenance of traditional class hierarchy. Sport's significance in the period is perhaps best registered by its literal and metaphorical centrality in such popular works of literature as Shakespeare's histories, Walton's Compleat Angler, and Milton's Samson Agonistes, as well as its prominence in ecclesiastical and secular legislation and polemics. By reconstructing a cultural history of sport and investigating representations of it in contemporary prose, poetry, and drama, the book demonstrates sport's pivotal position in the interlocking spheres of Renaissance science, politics, and art. Gregory M. Colón Semenza is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

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