After Lavinia: A Literary History of Premodern Marriage by John Watkins

By John Watkins

The Renaissance jurist Alberico Gentili as soon as quipped that, similar to comedies, all wars result in a wedding. In medieval and early smooth Europe, marriage treaties have been a perennial characteristic of the diplomatic panorama. while one ruler determined to make peace along with his enemy, the 2 events frequently sealed their cost with marriages among their respective households. In After Lavinia, John Watkins strains the background of the perform, targeting the strangely shut dating among international relations and literary construction in Western Europe from antiquity throughout the 17th century, whilst marriage started to lose its effectiveness and status as a device of diplomacy.

Watkins starts off with Virgil's foundational delusion of the wedding among the Trojan hero Aeneas and the Latin princess, an account that shaped the root for varied medieval and Renaissance celebrations of dynastic marriages by way of courtly poets and propagandists. within the book's moment part, he follows the gradual decline of diplomatic marriage as either a device of statecraft and a literary topic, exploring the skepticism and suspicion with which it was once seen within the works of Spenser and Shakespeare. Watkins argues that the performs of Corneille and Racine sign the passing of a global order that had as soon as accorded girls a spot of designated dignity and respect.

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