The Performance of Nobility in Early Modern European Literature

Synopsis

This valuable study illuminates the idea of nobility as display, as public performance, in Renaissance and seventeenth-century literature and society. Through detailed readings of major authors, including Castiglione, Montaigne, Bacon and Corneille, David Posner examines the tensions between literary or imaginative representations of "nobility," and the increasingly problematic historical position of the nobility themselves. Situated at the intersection of rhetorical and historical theories of interpretation, this book contributes significantly to our understanding of how literature can both analyze and shape social identity.

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