Volume 2: The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century, Third Edition

Publication Date: March 14, 2016
7.75 x 9.25 • paper • 1002pp
ISBN: 978-1-55481-290-5

US & CDN $59.95



In all six of its volumes The Broadview Anthology of British Literature presents British literature in a truly distinctive light. Fully grounded in sound literary and historical scholarship, the anthology takes a fresh approach to many canonical authors, and includes a wide selection of work by lesser-known writers. The anthology also provides wide-ranging coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature, and it pays attention throughout to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. It includes comprehensive introductions to each period, providing in each case an overview of the historical and cultural as well as the literary background. It features accessible and engaging headnotes for all authors, extensive explanatory annotations, and an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials. Innovative, authoritative and comprehensive, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature has established itself as a leader in the field.

For the third edition of this volume a considerable number of changes have been made. Newly prepared, for example, is a substantial selection from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier, presented in Thomas Hoby’s influential early modern English translation. Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy is another major addition. Also new to the anthology are excerpts from Thomas Dekker’s plague pamphlets. We have considerably expanded our representation of Elizabeth I’s writings and speeches, as well as providing several more cantos from Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene and adding selections from Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia. We have broadened our coverage, too, to include substantial selections of Irish, Gaelic Scottish, and Welsh literature. (Perhaps most notable of the numerous authors in this section are two extraordinary Welsh poets, Dafydd ap Gwilym and Gwerful Mechain.) Mary Sidney Herbert’s writings now appear in the bound book instead of on the companion website. Margaret Cavendish, previously included in volume 3 of the full anthology, will now also be included in this volume; we have added a number of her poems, with an emphasis on those with scientific themes.

The edition features two new Contexts sections: a sampling of “Tudor and Stuart Humor,” and a section on “Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, and Covenanters.” New materials on emblem books and on manuscript culture have also been added to the “Culture: A Portfolio” contexts section.

There are many additions the website component as well—including Thomas Deloney’s Jack of Newbury (also published as a stand-alone BABL edition). We are also expanding our online selection of transatlantic material, with the inclusion of writings by John Smith, William Bradford, and Anne Bradstreet. There have been a range of other additions to the website component of this volume of the anthology since the first edition was published–selections from Thomas Campion and Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender, for example, are both included in the website component. So too is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in a fine edition prepared by David Swain. Twelfth Night is one of several works from the anthology that is available in a stand-alone Broadview Anthology of British Literature Edition; those wishing to teach the play will thus have the option of including it in bound book form as part of a specially-priced shrink-wrapped package, together with this volume of the anthology.

Please note: While Shakespeare’s King Lear is not included in the bound copy of the anthology, it is included in its entirety on the BABL companion website and our recent stand-alone BABL edition of King Lear can be bundled with any volume of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature for free.

View a sample section from Volume 2: The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century:



Texts and Contexts: A Chronological Chart