Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition

Edited by Tania Demetriou and Janice Valls-Russell

Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4023-4
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: March 2021
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 17th Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Early Modern Literature, Literature, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literary studies: c 1400 to c 1600


This volume offers the first in-depth investigation of Thomas Heywood's engagement with the classics. Its introduction and twelve essays trace how the classics shaped Heywood's work in a variety of genres across a writing career of over forty years, ranging from drama, epic and epyllion, to translations, compendia and the design of a warship for Charles I. Close readings demonstrate the influence of a capaciously conceived classical tradition that included continental editions and translations of Latin and Greek texts, early modern mythographies and the medieval tradition of Troy. They attend to Heywood's thought-provoking imitations and juxtapositions of these sources, his use of myth to interrogate gender and heroism, and his turn to antiquity to celebrate and defamiliarise the theatrical or political present. Heywood's better-known works are discussed alongside critically neglected ones, making the collection valuable for undergraduates and researchers alike.


'Thomas Heywood and the Classical Tradition addresses an important gap in our appreciation of how one of Shakespeare's most prolific and unfairly denigrated contemporaries read and reworked the classics throughout his long literary career, which spanned the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I.

'All in all, this book vindicates an author who, often criticized for yoking together wildy different registers and styles, actually wore his classicism with great skill, originality and aplomb.'
Sonia Massai, King's College London

'This edited collection revitalises research on Heywood by drawing together studies which elucidate important themes and practices that inform all his many writings. Alongside these significant findings are intricate details and close readings that illuminate neglected works and highlight their sophistication.'
Northern Renaissance


Introduction: Thomas Heywood and 'the antique world'
Janice Valls-Russell and Tania Demetriou
1 Intertextuality and Thomas Heywood's early Ovid: Oenone and Paris
Katherine Heavey
2 Thomas Heywood's Loves Schoole: emulation, adaptation, and anachronism
M. L. Stapleton
3 Rescripting classical stories of rape from page to stage: Lucrece and Callisto
Janice Valls-Russell
4 'Interlaced with sundry histories': the open structure of The Silver Age
Yves Peyré
5 A 'glorious Greek'? Thomas Heywood and Hercules
Richard Rowland
6 The not-so-classical tradition: mythographic complexities in 1 Iron Age
Charlotte Coffin
7 Reading the classics, but how? mythographic paradigms and 'ill-joined marquetry'
Yves Peyré
8 Compendious poetry: Homer and Ausonius in Thomas Heywood's Various History Concerninge Women
Tania Demetriou
9 'The scene lies in Hel': the world of Lucian in Thomas Heywood's 'stage-poetry'
Camilla Temple
10 Acting like Greeks
Tanya Pollard
11 A theatre for the Iron Age: theorising practice in Thomas Heywood's Ages plays
Chloe Kathleen Preedy
12 The Sovereign of the Seas: Thomas Heywood's 3D engagement with the classics
Janice Valls-Russell

Appendix: Heywood's works: a chronological table
Select bibliography


Tania Demetriou is lecturer at the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge

Janice Valls-Russell is a principal research associate of France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University Paul Valéry, Montpellier

Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition

Edited by Tania Demetriou, Janice Valls-Russell

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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