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Saxon Rites in Late Stuart Drama

Saxon Rites in Late Stuart Drama Emanuel Stelzer, Università della Valle d’Aosta Germanic religion and mythology have generally been described as first arousing interest and acquiring popularity in british literature through the works of pre-romantic authors, suc t h h a os m as (or his elder son, Joseph) w arton’s two “Runic odes” (1748), thomas Percy’s Five Pieces of Runic Poetry (1763) and Northern Antiquities (1770), and thomas Gray’s Norse Odes (composed in 1761, published in 1768). before them, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts had been collected by udor antiquarians (such as t william Lambarde, Laurence Nowell, and william Camden), Nordic genealogies were written for the Stuarts, and Old English was studied by seventeenth- century English scholars. However, we are led to believe that, wi- th Restora tion and Augustan Classicism becoming the predominant style, Germanic lore did not fascinate british authors and their audiences: “but all this Gothic knowledge, impressive as it now seems, remained the preserve of fusty antiquarians.” Heather O’Donoghue indicates that references to Germanic religion appeared in seventeenth-century poetry, but that it did not encounter the readers’ tastes. the aim of this article is to complicate the picture by analyzing, instead, Restoration and Augustan drama. there are three late Stuart plays that have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JEGP, Journal of English and Germanic Philology University of Illinois Press

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
ISSN
1945-662X

Abstract

Emanuel Stelzer, Università della Valle d’Aosta Germanic religion and mythology have generally been described as first arousing interest and acquiring popularity in british literature through the works of pre-romantic authors, suc t h h a os m as (or his elder son, Joseph) w arton’s two “Runic odes” (1748), thomas Percy’s Five Pieces of Runic Poetry (1763) and Northern Antiquities (1770), and thomas Gray’s Norse Odes (composed in 1761, published in 1768). before them, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts had been collected by udor antiquarians (such as t william Lambarde, Laurence Nowell, and william Camden), Nordic genealogies were written for the Stuarts, and Old English was studied by seventeenth- century English scholars. However, we are led to believe that, wi- th Restora tion and Augustan Classicism becoming the predominant style, Germanic lore did not fascinate british authors and their audiences: “but all this Gothic knowledge, impressive as it now seems, remained the preserve of fusty antiquarians.” Heather O’Donoghue indicates that references to Germanic religion appeared in seventeenth-century poetry, but that it did not encounter the readers’ tastes. the aim of this article is to complicate the picture by analyzing, instead, Restoration and Augustan drama. there are three late Stuart plays that have

Journal

JEGP, Journal of English and Germanic PhilologyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jun 25, 2019

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