Thomas Heywood and the Classical Tradition

Janice Valls-Russell, Tania Demetriou

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Manchester University Press

Published: 9th Mar '21


This collection offers a groundbreaking study of Thomas Heywood’s fascinatingly individual engagement with the classics across his writing career. It considers the wide diversity of genres to which he contributed, including dramas, translations, compendia, and iconographical designs, and attends to the shaping role of classics in his authorial self-fashioning and idiosyncratic aesthetic.

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This volume offers the first in-depth investigation of Thomas Heywood’s engagement with the classics. Its introduction and twelve essays trace how the classics shaped Heywood’s work in a variety of genres across a writing career of over forty years, ranging from drama, epic and epyllion, to translations, compendia and the design of a warship for Charles I. Close readings demonstrate the influence of a capaciously conceived classical tradition that included continental editions and translations of Latin and Greek texts, early modern mythographies and the medieval tradition of Troy. They attend to Heywood’s thought-provoking imitations and juxtapositions of these sources, his use of myth to interrogate gender and heroism, and his turn to antiquity to celebrate and defamiliarise the theatrical or political present. Heywood’s better-known works are discussed alongside critically neglected ones, making the collection valuable for undergraduates and researchers alike.

Additional information

Dimensions 156 × 234 mm
Page Count 344