Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.730742
Title: Profitability and play in urban satirical pamphlets, 1575-1625
Author: Hasler, Rebecca Louise
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
This thesis reconstructs the genre of urban satirical pamphleteering. It contends that the pamphlets of Robert Greene, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, and Barnaby Rich are stylistically and generically akin. Writing in a relatively undefined form, these pamphleteers share an interest in describing contemporary London, and employ an experimental style characterised by its satirical energy. In addition, they negotiate a series of tensions between profitability and play. In the early modern period, ‘profit' was variously conceived as financial, moral, or rooted in public service. Pamphleteers attempted to reconcile these senses of profitability. At the same time, they produced playful works that are self-consciously mocking, that incorporate alternative perspectives, and that are generically hybrid. To varying degrees, urban satirical pamphlets can be defined in relation to the concepts of profitability and play. Chapter One introduces the concept of moral profitability through an examination of Elizabethan moralistic pamphlets. In particular, it analyses the anxious response to profitability contained in Philip Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses (1583). Chapter Two argues that Greene disrupted appeals to totalising profitability, and instead demonstrated the alternative potential of play. Chapter Three examines Nashe's notoriously evasive pamphlets, contending that he embraced play in response to the potential profitlessness of pamphleteering. Chapter Four argues that although Dekker and Middleton rejected absolutist notions of profitability, their pamphlets redirect stylistic play towards compassionate social commentary. Finally, Chapter Five explores Rich's relocation of moralistic conventions in pamphlets that are presented as both honest and mocking. Taken as a whole, this thesis re-evaluates the style and genre of urban satirical pamphleteering. It reveals that this frequently overlooked literary form was deeply invested in defining and critiquing the purpose of literature.
Supervisor: Rhodes, Neil Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) ; Scottish Graduate School for Art and Humanities (SGSAH)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.730742  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early modern literature ; Pamphleteering ; Satire ; Early modern London ; Early modern prose ; Robert Greene ; Thomas Nashe ; Thomas Dekker ; Thomas Middleton ; Barnaby Rich
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