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Abstracts: Volume 88, Number 4 (2009)

"That private shade, wherein my Muse was bred": Katherine Philips and the Poetic Spaces of Welsh Retirement by Sarah Prescott

In contrast to previous studies of Katherine Philips as a poet of female friendship and Royalist loyalty, this article takes as its starting point the fact that Philips wrote most of her poetry while living in Wales. Drawing on recent work in archipelagic British studies and women's literary history, it views Philips in terms of her Welsh location, which allows for a new approach to her poetry of retirement in particular (read alongside her letters) and a fresh perspective on her literary significance in general. While Philips has been recognized as a poet of contradiction and product of an ideologically complex social and political background, the complexities of her geographical location have rarely been explored. Rather than endorse the dominant view of Philips's life in Wales as one of exile and isolation, the article argues that her relation to Wales enabled her as a poet by providing "that private shade" from where she could engage with the world beyond.

Human Sacrifice on the Restoration Stage: The Case of Venice Preserv'd by Derek Hughes

In the seventeenth century, all the major European dramatic literatures display an intensified interest in the subject of human sacrifice. On the Continent, this interest manifests itself in a reworking of classical texts such as Euripides' Iphigenia plays, and the predominant theme is the advance of civilization beyond primitive barbarity. While this trend is also evident in England, English dramatists also frequently use the subject of human sacrifice for pessimistic commentary on the political traumas of the Interregnum and Exclusion Crisis, and the subjection of human life to monetary forces. In particular, it is a prominent symbol in Otway's Venice Preserv'd, where it is treated with great depth and originality. Otway suggests that social groups survive by defusing aggression with rituals of submission. Sacrifice is what happens when the rituals of submission fail, and when the proferred victim is claimed.

Whose Restoration, Whose Republic? Charles Gildon's Manuscript Version and the Remaking of Nathaniel Lee's Lucius Junius Brutus by Maximillian E. Novak

The recent discovery of a manuscript of Charles Gildon's revision of Nathaniel Lee's Lucius Junius Brutus, later revised by Gildon and staged as The Patriot at the end of 1702, provides an insight into the changing politics between the reign of Charles II with its republican moment during the Exclusion Crisis and the emergence of some form of republicanism with a powerful House of Commons at the end of the reign of William III. Lee's play was swiftly shut down by the government, and Gildon's "A Restoration Defeated," was never permitted to be staged. The politically innocuous anti-republican Patriot was dedicated to Queen Anne.

Against the "Starless Midnight of Racism and War": African American Intellectuals and the Antinuclear Agenda by Jacqueline Foertsch

This article examines the antinuclear writing of three leading African American intellectuals in the postwar period: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin, and Lorraine Hansberry. Each of these major figures in civil rights history worked and/or wrote with effectiveness against that age's atomic threat: King spoke frequently against the bomb in his sermons and in his 1964 Nobel Prize Acceptance speech (a quote from which constitutes the title of this article); in his early years Rustin busily organized antinuclear awareness campaigns and protest marches whenever he was not busy organizing landmark civil rights events; and Hansberry moved easily between references to the atomic threat and racial injustice in many of her writings. While each wrestled with dilemmas posed by these dual and ultimately quite diverse callings, King, Rustin, and Hansberry finally left a rich legacy of commitment to both racial equality and a world freed from nuclear threat.

Ouer and ouer Again in the Peterborough Chronicle by R. D. Fulk

Two instances of the morpheme ouer in the entry for the year 1137 in the Peterborough Chronicle, a familiar annal describing the anarchy that prevailed during the reign of King Stephen, occur in passages that have provoked some controversy about their interpretation. The solution proposed is to regard both instances of ouer as early examples of the adverb in the sense "in addition," which is not otherwise firmly attested until the fourteenth century.

With Smollett in Harrogate by Frank Felsenstein

Smollett scholars have endeavored with limited success to link The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771) to the personal experience of the author as traveler. Examination of John Courtney's contemporary diary, first published in 2001, affords us a unique glimpse of Smollett at the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, in which he sojourned for three weeks en route to Scotland in May and June of 1766. Courtney's diary throws valuable light on Smollett's medicinal views, particularly his controversial claims concerning the therapeutic (or otherwise!) use of waters. It also provides confirmation of the lively social scene at Harrogate that the author was able to capture so vividly in Humphry Clinker.