'Tossing and turning your booke upside downe' : The Trimming of Thomas Nashe, Cambridge, and scholarly reading
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This article explores the distinctive culture of critical reading based around the University of Cambridge in the 1590s. Drawing upon new evidence that The Trimming of Thomas Nashe (1597) was produced by a Cambridge stationer for an audience of Cambridge scholars, it reconstructs the literary values of this community. The Trimming parodies Nashe's Have With You to Saffron‐Walden (1596). Its purported author – Richard Lichfield – draws upon his close reading of Have With You to attack Nashe by imitating his style. Similarly, the Parnassus Plays – which were performed at St John's College, Cambridge, between 1598 and 1601 – allude to the works of Nashe and Lichfield, and offer a comparable appraisal of contemporary literature. By unravelling the connections between Nashe, Lichfield, and the Parnassus Plays, this article demonstrates that some writers and stationers marketed their works to a specifically scholarly audience. These scholars used critical reading to reinforce a sense of community that was characterized by their perceived social and educational superiority to other readers, and that responded to their insecurities regarding the role of professional writers in the Elizabethan book trade.
Hasler , R 2018 , ' 'Tossing and turning your booke upside downe' : The Trimming of Thomas Nashe , Cambridge, and scholarly reading ' , Renaissance Studies , vol. In press . https://doi.org/10.1111/rest.12504
© 2018 The Society for Renaissance Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/rest.12504
DescriptionThis research was undertaken during the course of a SGSAH AHRC studentship
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