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Title: Making oeconomies : elite domestic culture and the reception of Shakespeare's Ovidian poetry in early modern England.
Author: Roberts, Sasha.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1995
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Venus and Adonis and Lucrece, though rarely studied, were Shakespeare's bestsellers: reprinted fourteen times during his lifetime, they generated considerable commentary providing rare accounts both of men and women as readers of Shakespeare and of Shakespeare's reputation among his contemporaries. This thesis examines issues of gender and sexuality in venus and Adonis and Lucrece by turning both to contemporary accounts of reading the poems and to the actual reading environment of Shakespeare's elite readers. The Elizabethan and Jacobean elite home was extraordinarily rich in visual images. Elite men and women read Shakespeare's Ovidian poetry in an environment itself furnished with Ovidian imagery. But connections between textual representation and the immediate context of reading -- by which I mean the actual rooms in which men and women read - - have rarely been examined. Despite claims for greater interdisciplinarity in Renaissance literary criticism, we still know very little about the habitats of early modem readers. However, questions of gender and sexuality currently examined in Renaissance literary criticism can be powerfully interrogated in the furnishings of rooms in which men and women read. Though little known to literary critics, the striking images that appeared upon the walls, chairs, chests and beds of Shakespeare's elite readers represent a rich source for studying early modern oeconomy -- 'or what appertains to the house'. In this thesis, I seek to show both how Shakespeare's bestselling works explore the making of oeconomy, and how his readers could have interpreted them in the making of their own oeconomies. In so doing, I explore the implications of reading Shakespeare in the early modem elite home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Venus and Adonis; Lucrece; Reading environment