Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America

Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America

Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America

Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America

Synopsis

The individuals and events of the Elizabethan era continue to be popular topics for contemporary literature and film, and Elizabethan drama, poetry, and music are studied and enjoyed everywhere by students, scholars, and the general public. The Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World provides its users with clear definitions and descriptions of people, events, institutions, ideas, and terminology relating in some significant way to the Elizabethan period. The first dictionary of history to focus exclusively on the reign of Elizabeth I, this volume is also the first to take abroad trans-Atlantic approach to the period by including relevant individuals and terms from Irish, Scottish, Welsh, American, and Western European history.

Excerpt

The Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World provides its users with clear and concise basic descriptions and definitions of people, events, ideas, and terms relating in some significant way to the Elizabethan period of British history. The Dictionary was written primarily for students and other nonspecialists who have interest--but little background--in this period of history. Besides providing a resource for quickly looking up names and terms encountered in reading or during study, the Dictionary offers an excellent starting point for classroom or personal research into Elizabethan subjects. The entries provide the basic information required to choose or hone a research topic, to answer small but vital questions of fact, and to identify further and more extensive information resources. The Dictionary also serves as a useful reader's companion for those whose Elizabethan reading--whether fiction or nonfiction--is more for enjoyment than for study.

The "Elizabethan Period"

Although the reign of Elizabeth I of England lasted from 17 November 1558 to 24 March 1603, the Dictionary, like most modern historians, views the "Elizabethan period" more broadly. Many of the defining characteristics of the era were products of events in earlier periods, particularly the reign of Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII (1509-1547). For example, one can make little sense of the religious upheaval of Elizabeth's reign without knowing about the origin and course of the English Reformation that Henry VIII somewhat unwittingly initiated in the 1530s. Thus, the Dictionary offers entries both on "Henry VIII" and on "Reformation, English," as well as on "Thomas Cromwell," the king's chief agent in the break with the Roman Catholic Church, and on the Book of Common Prayer, an important change in the form of English worship that emerged from the English Reformation and influenced the liturgy of the Elizabethan Anglican Church.

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