Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580
by Cathy Shrank
Writing the Nation in Reformation England is a major re-evaluation of English writing between 1530 and 1580. Studying authors such as Andrew Borde, ... Show synopsis Writing the Nation in Reformation England is a major re-evaluation of English writing between 1530 and 1580. Studying authors such as Andrew Borde, John Leland, William Thomas, Thomas Smith, and Thomas Wilson, Cathy Shrank highlights the significance of these decades to the formation of English nationhood and examines the impact of the break with Rome on the development of a national language, literary style, and canon. As well as demonstrating the close relationship between literary culture and English identities, it reinvests Tudor writers with a sense of agency. As authors, counselors, and thinkers they were active citizens participating within, and helping to shape, a national community. In the process, their works were also used to project an image of themselves as authors, playing--and fitted to play--their part in the public domain. In showing how these writers engaged with, and promoted, concepts of national identity, the book makes a significant contribution to our broader understanding of the early modern period, demonstrating that nationhood was not a later Elizabethan phenomenon, and that the Reformation had an immediate impact of English culture, before England emerged as a "Protestant" nation.