London in the age of Shakespeare was one of the largest and most important cities of Europe. Poets and poetasters, rhetoricians, and preachers were able to use the city as an object for displays of technical rhetoric in ballads, bawdy jests, sermons, and tales. There is today an unparalleled wealth of contemporary descriptions which give us a vivid picture of what life was like in London in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Professor Manley has collected a rich variety of such documents on Shakespeare’s London, many of which have never before been translated into English. He has provided a general introduction to the history and literature of Tudor-Stuart London, while in further introductions to each chapter he sets the selections in their historical context and explains the conventions of literary genre that must be considered in using the selections as historical evidence.
This collection will be welcomed by those interested in Renaissance history and life, and will be a useful resource for students of Renaissance poetry and rhetoric.