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Issue 7 (2015) - Open-themed

Editorial

[1] Welcome to Issue 7 of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance. This open-themed issue brings together articles from three outstanding researchers – working across early modern literature, history and textual studies. We hope you enjoy it.

[2] Late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century literary treatments of the Trojan War are examined by Katherine Heavey in her article ‘“Properer Men”: Myth, Manhood and the Trojan War in Greene, Shakespeare and Heywood’. With a particular focus on classical exemplars and the promotion of an ideal masculinity, male identity is here figured as unstable but malleable, subject to homosocial debate and mutual endorsement. Omitting women from the discussion, early modern man’s expression of collective anxiety serves to confirm male identity rather than challenge it. Focussing on Robert Greene’s Euphues His Censure to Philautus, Thomas Heywood’s The Iron Age Part I and William Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Heavey investigates competing models of manhood – from the militaristic to the rhetorical – and offers an absorbing study of Troy as the locus for early modern debates on masculinity.

[3] Robert F. W. Smith examines traces of the ‘Lipsian paradigm’ in the works of John Trussell of Winchester, expanding upon Adriana McCrea’s 1997 study of Lipsian influence on early modern moral, political and literary culture and crucially acknowledging the Flemish philosopher’s reception beyond London’s elite circles. Lipsius – like the literary writers of Heavey’s article – used classical models to guide contemporary conduct. Lipsian neostoicism, so evident in Trussell’s 1595 publication of Robert Southwell’s posthumous Triumphs Over Death, transforms the work from an act of private consolation – from Southwell to Phillip Howard, the Earl of Arundel, on the occasion of his sister’s death – to a publicly accessible and practical guide to moderation in grief. It also usefully complicates any suggestion that Trussell, in championing the Jesuit martyr Southwell, was confessing Catholic sympathies – suggesting instead that Southwell and Trussell share a non-denominational stoicism pervasive in the period.

[4] Joel Swann also looks to move beyond the confines of early modern London in his study of Chetham’s Library manuscript MC15, an early seventeenth-century collection of poetry and prose which – despite its association with the Inns of Court – contains work by Norfolk farmer Henry Gurney. Swann investigates both the manuscript’s identification with the London legal environment and its little-discussed provincial association, casting early modern scribal culture and manuscript circulation as a national rather than metropolitan phenomenon. Hypothesising that MC15 may have been owned by Norfolk book collector Thomas Martin, Swann makes a persuasive case for the continuing study of well-known manuscripts alongside lesser-known texts.

[5] Looking beyond the current issue, these are exciting times for JNR. Over the last few months we have significantly expanded our editorial team. Following his appointment as Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol, Sebastiaan Verweij, one of the two founding editors of JNR, has moved to the Editorial Advisory Board. Catriona Murray, meanwhile, has taken a sabbatical from her role as Reviews Editor to focus on her new position as Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. We would like to extend a very warm thank you to both of them for all their dedication, hard work and expertise, and we wish them both all the very best in their new roles.

[6] To fill their places and to expand the editorial team further, we are delighted to welcome a number of new arrivals. Lynsey McCulloch, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Coventry University, joins us as Associate Editor. Lynsey’s research focuses on the relationships that literature forms (and performs) with other media – art, design, music and dance. Her first book, Reinventing the Renaissance: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries in Adaptation and Performance (co-edited with Sarah Annes Brown and Robert I. Lublin), was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013, and she is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance (forthcoming from OUP) with Brandon Shaw.

[7] Marco Barducci, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, has taken over from Catriona as Reviews Editor. Marco’s research focuses on the exchange and reception of political ideas between England, the Netherlands and France, and he is currently writing a manuscript on the reception of the works of Hugo Grotius in English political thought, to be published by OUP. Marco taught at the University of Florence from 2007 to 2012 and has held fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Luigi Firpo Foundation. His last monograph, Order and Conflict. Anthony Ascham and English Political Thought, 1648-50, was recently published by Manchester University Press.

[8] We are also very pleased to welcome not one but three new assistant editors to the team. Lucy Hinnie is currently a doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh, working on the Scottish response to the querelle des femmes in verse miscellanies such as the sixteenth-century Maitland Quarto and Bannatyne Manuscript. Her recruitment reinforces JNR’s editorial commitment to the belief that there was a Renaissance in Scotland long before Hugh MacDiarmid came along. While Lucy will be focusing largely on JNR, our other two new assistant editors, Peter Bovenmyer and Zoë Sutherland, will be working on JNR’s younger sister, Polaris. Polaris was launched last year as a miscellany for all kinds of online material dedicated to the Northern Renaissance that cannot be contained neatly within the format of an academic essay. This includes discussion pieces, conference reports, interviews, blog posts, more experimental writing, and audio and visual content (if you haven’t yet had a look at Polaris, please do!). We have great plans for Polaris, and hope in particular to expand our audio-visual offerings over the coming months, and perhaps even to develop a regular podcast. If you would be interested in contributing to Polaris in some way, please contact us at polaris.jnr@gmail.com.

[9] The genuinely interdisciplinary awareness that both Zoë and Peter bring to their research makes them ideally situated to oversee Polaris’ expansion over the coming years. Peter is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently writing his dissertation on anatomical images from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. His work examines the interplay between dissection and visual culture and explores how this relationship reinvented the body and crafted new scientific ideologies. Peter’s work also focuses on the history of optics and mirrors, astrological technology, and medical talismans in the late medieval and early modern periods. With Peter joining the team, JNR and Polaris have taken an important step towards becoming more genuinely transatlantic. Zoë, meanwhile, is a doctoral student in the School of English at the University of St Andrews, where she works on poetic making, justice and shared political action in the dramatic works of the seventeenth century dramatist Ben Jonson, focusing on the interconnections between legal philosophy and imaginative literature, as well as certain theoretical implications of present-day International Public Law for questions of freedom and equality. Zoë and Peter will be working closely with Alexander Collins, who has stepped up from Assistant Editor to Associate Editor, and we are delighted to welcome them both onto the team.

[10] With new editors on board, we are now considering a move towards publishing two issues a year. In this respect, 2016 will be something of a trial run, as we will be presenting not one but two special issues. The first of these, ‘Scrutinising Surfaces in Early Modern Thought’, builds on the Second Northern Renaissance Roses Seminar, run jointly by the universities of Lancaster and York, and held at Lancaster University in May 2015. Guest-edited by Kevin Killeen (York) and Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster), this issue will take up and develop, in an early modern context, Joseph Amato’s trans-historical investigation of how ‘humans, ourselves a body of surfaces, meet and interact with a world dressed in surfaces’ (2013: xv).

[11] The second issue scheduled for 2016, which will be guest-edited by Dermot Cavanagh (Edinburgh) and Rob Maslen (Glasgow), is provisionally entitled ‘Early Modern Voices’. This issue has its roots in an event held at the University of Glasgow in October 2015 to honour the work and career of Alison Thorne. Recently forced into retirement by ill health, Alison’s work on Shakespeare’s romances and on women, politics and rhetoric in the Renaissance has made a series of vital contributions across diverse fields. Alison’s generosity of spirit is evident in her writing, but her remarkable willingness to support the work of others, not only as an editor but as an advisor, a teacher, and a friend, may be less widely known. If I [Patrick] may be excused a lapse into the personal, Alison was also my wonderfully encouraging supervisor when as a naïve doctoral student I first proposed setting up a journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the Renaissance in the north. Without Alison’s support and advice this journal would certainly not exist today. We are therefore very glad to be able to look forward to publishing this special issue in her honour.

[12] To conclude, a huge thank you to all those who have offered JNR their support over the last year, especially the many anonymous peer reviewers who have given so freely and generously of their time and expertise. As ever, JNR continues to welcome submissions across the full gamut of topics relating to the Renaissance in the north, as well as proposals for future special issues and Polaris posts.

Lynsey McCulloch and Patrick Hart