Edward and George Herbert in the European Republic of Letters

Edited by Greg Miller and Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise

Edward and George Herbert in the European Republic of Letters


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6409-4
  • Pages: 424
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: August 2022
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Early Modern History, History, England, Early 17th century c 1600 to c 1650, Literary studies: c 1600 to c 1800, RELIGION / Christian Theology / History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Stuart Era (1603-1714), LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 17th Century, Society & social sciences / History of ideas, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, History of ideas
  • Series: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies


George Herbert (1593-1633), the celebrated devotional poet, and his brother Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648), often described as the father of English deism, are rarely considered together. This collection explores connections between the full range of the brothers' writings and activities, despite the apparent differences both in what they wrote and in how they lived their lives. More specifically, the volume demonstrates that despite these differences, each conceived of their extended republic of letters as militating against a violent and exclusive catholicity; theirs was a communion in which contention (or disputation) served to develop more dynamic forms of comprehensiveness. The literary, philosophical and musical production of the Herbert brothers appears here in its full European context, connected as they were with the Sidney clan and its investment in international Protestantism.

The disciplinary boundaries between poetry, philosophy, politics and theology in modern universities are a stark contrast to the deep interconnectedness of these pursuits in the seventeenth century. Crossing disciplinary and territorial borders, contributors discuss a variety of texts and media, including poetry, musical practices, autobiography, letters, council literature, orations, philosophy, history and nascent religious anthropology, all serving as agents of the circulation and construction of transregionally inspired and collective responses to human conflict and violence. We see as never before the profound connections, face-to-face as well as textual, linking early modern British literary culture with the continent.


Introduction: contentious communion-Greg Miller and Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise

Part I Thinking beyond borders: War and peace
1 The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre: Experiences of the tragic and historiographic genres in Edward Herbert and George Herbert-Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise
2 The Thirty Years' War and George Herbert's communion, an answer to violence-Greg Miller
3 "Being" James I: Herbert of Cherbury's vexed diplomacy-Nancy Zaice
4 Ceremony and self: Belligerent civility in Edward Herbert's Autobiography-Michael Schoenfeldt

Part II Reconsidering conformity, community and universality
5 "Gerson, a Spirituall Man": Herbert and the University of Paris's reformist chancellor- Christopher Hodgkins
6 Conformity and consent in Herbert of Cherbury-Anita Sherman
7 "Devout Humanism" and its problems: George Herbert and François de Sales-Richard Strier
8 George Herbert's The Country Parson and John Calvin's pastoral advice-Kristine A. Wolberg and Lynnette St. George
9 Edward Herbert's The Amazon and De Veritate-Cristina Malcolmson

Part III Voices of transnational communities: From conversation to song
10 Edward Herbert within the fellowship of gentlemen plain speakers-Sean H. McDowell
11 "The little World the Great shall blaze": Edward Herbert, Thomas Carew, Giambattista Marino, and the poetics of embassy-Eleanor Hardy
12 George Herbert and three French Protestant poets (Chandieu, Grévin, Sponde)-Guillaume Coatalen
13 Becoming "a Citizen of the world": Edward Herbert and continental music-making- Simon Jackson
14 "Sweet Singers of our Israel": French psalmody, the Sidneys and George Herbert-Helen Wilcox



Greg Miller is Professor Emeritus of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi
Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and a member of the Institut Universitaire de France

Edward and George Herbert in the European Republic of Letters

Edited by Greg Miller, Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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