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Title: Literature and the Law of Nations in England, 1585-1673
Author: Warren, Christopher Norton
ISNI:       0000 0000 5430 6348
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis argues that Renaissance English literature and the rise of international law over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are ineluctably bound together. Challenging traditions in both literature and law that separate these two stories, the thesis examines works by major writers in both the literary'and legal t~aditions. With analysis of works by Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and John Milton, as well as by Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Alberico Gentili and William P~nn, it explores the ground of civic humanism that was shared by literary writers, on one hand, and legal and political theorists, on the other-a shared ground that ultimately frustrates modern attempts to divide one from the other. Taking issue with anti-humanist literary paradigms like New Historicism that have been skeptical about law in general and international law, in particular, the thesis shows that turning to what the period called.the law ofnations can sharpen analyses of topics already fundamental to literacy scholarship, such as colonialism and nationalism; the literary articulation of equity, power, rights, and political obligations; categories oflegal personhood; ideas ofbarbarity and civilization; cosmopolitanism and globalization; and representation and recognition. It sheds new light on familiar texts such as Sidney's 'Arcadia, Shakespeare and Wilkins' Pericles, and Milton's Samson Agonistes-w9rks that grow in richness when we recognize that what was at stake for many writers was the very concept of international order. At the same time, texts often seen as marginal or anomalous to literary history like Hugo Grotius' poems or Thomas Hobbes' translations demonstrate surprising richness and imaginative depth once placed within debates and genealogies of international law. Tracing the fortunes of a humanist and literary way of thinking and arguing about global affairs, the thesis proposes a new dialogue between literary history and the history of international law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available