John Stubbs' "Reprobates" charts the rise and fall of the Cavaliers before, during and after the English Civil War. From disastrous foreign forays to syphilitic poets, from political intriguing to ambitious young playwrights keen to curry favour with the king, John Stubbs brings alive the vibrant cast of characters that were at the centre of the ...Read MoreJohn Stubbs' "Reprobates" charts the rise and fall of the Cavaliers before, during and after the English Civil War. From disastrous foreign forays to syphilitic poets, from political intriguing to ambitious young playwrights keen to curry favour with the king, John Stubbs brings alive the vibrant cast of characters that were at the centre of the English Civil War. Stubbs shows the reader just how the country was brought to one of the most destructive moments in its history. "Dashing and daring, colourful, subtle and provocative ...stuffed almost to bursting-point with character and incident. Feasting on poems, diaries, plays, masques, letters and biographies, Reprobates introduces us to ...a flamboyant parade of chancers, dreamers, turncoats, heroes, idiots and hedonists who grab the reader's shoulders and force a drink on us as if in some dim-lit, tallow-smoked tavern of the 1630s". ("Independent"). "Swaggeringly splendid...Stubbs is a brilliant expositor of poetry ...one cannot resist being carried along the sheer boldness of the charge and the brilliance and elan of its execution". (John Adamson, "Sunday Telegraph"). John Stubbs was born in 1977 and studied English at Oxford and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge where he completed a doctorate in 2005. "Donne: The Reformed Soul" was published in 2006 and won the Glen Dimplex Irish Writers' Centre New Writer of the Year and a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for non-fiction. It was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-18 The 17th-century showdown between Charles I and Parliament is fought as much with rhymes as with muskets in this scintillating literary-historical study of the royalist worldview. Biographer Stubbs (John Donne: The Reformed Soul) profiles a clique of Jacobean writers dubbed Cavaliers for their "reprobate" frivolity, including the wastrel gambler and rake Sir John Suckling; poet laureate William Davenant, who lost his nose to syphilis; and poet Robert Herrick, whose line "Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may" distilled the Cavalier ethos. Their rallying to the king owed much to privilege and patronage, but the author also situates them in a culture war, pitting the pomp, revelry, theater going, witticisms, bawdiness, and light misogyny of the Cavaliers against the austerity, sternness, church-going, sermonizing, primness, and heavy misogyny whose gather-ye-potatoes-and-ammunition mentality won the war. Stubbs entwines an absorbing montage of the era's politics and shooting wars with searching exegeses of the verse, drama, and lavishly symbolic masques through which his protagonists reimagined the upheaval. Blending subtle aesthetics with entertaining picaresque, this is an entrancing, highly original account of Merrye Olde England locked in a losing battle with no-nonsense modernity-and of the compensating rise of a still-potent Cavalier sensibility of joie de vivre, romantic individualism, and pained elegy. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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