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By Jeffrey Knapp

What prompted England's literary renaissance? One solution has been such extraordinary advancements because the eu discovery of the United States. but England within the 16th century was once faraway from an increasing state. not just did the Tudors lose England's sole final possessions at the Continent and, because of the Reformation, develop spiritually divided from the Continent to boot, yet each one in their makes an attempt to colonize the recent international truly failed. Jeffrey Knapp money owed for this unusual blend of literary enlargement and nationwide isolation through exhibiting how the English made a advantage in their expanding insularity. Ranging throughout a wide range of literary and extraliterary resources, Knapp argues that English poets rejected the worldly acquisitiveness of an empire like Spain's and took delight in England's fabric barriers as an indication of its religious power. within the imaginary worlds of such fictions as Utopia , The Faerie Queene , and The Tempest , they sought a grander empire, based at the ''otherworldly'' virtues of either England and poetry itself.

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Additional resources for An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest

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In short, they "devastate [uastent]" the country, turning "all human habitations and all cultivated land into a wilderness" (U, 66/67). Hythloday boasts that such rapacity and misery are unknown in Utopia, where "with equality of distribution, all men have abundance of all things'' (202/3); communal ownership even prevents the sort of financial worries about home that make ambassadorships seem to More so heavy a burden (cf. 210/ 11, 238/39). In the narrative, of course, More thoroughly dismisses this glowing account of communism; but again Utopia answers an apparently intractable opposition with an alternative never overtly portrayed as suchproperty neither private nor communal but vacuous, the common ground that devastated England and empty America share.

737-39). While, unlike Brutus's Albion, these lands look inhabited, Rastell comments that the natives "as yet live all beastly" (780), and his subsequent evocation of an English colony in America demonstrates how, to him, the current brutishness of the natives makes them hardly count as inhabitants at all: after describing how a mutinous crew blocked his own New World voyage in 1517,52 Rastell exclaims, O, what a thing had be then, If that they that be English men         Might have been first of all That there should have take possession And made first building and habitation         A memory perpetual!

Thy master is a beggarly fugitive. Forsake him and become mine. I can reward thee, and I swear unto thee I will" (quoted in Muir, Life and Letters, 1). 75 Returning to his own "beggarly fugitive" of a master, Wyatt imagines the Thames "like bended moon"like Richard's moonshine in the water; imagines his homeland sought "by dreams''; gives his dreamer, Brutus, a name no more, perhaps, than a fable; and finally consigns this strange expression of his patriotism to frivolous poetry. If, under such constraints, king and country come to resemble the trifles that England's more powerful enemies or a contemptus vision might consider them, Wyatt nevertheless presents himself as not only fleeing with the wings of freedom to their prison but also rediscovering their heroic potentiality.

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