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 payment with marriages among their respective households. In After Lavinia, John Watkins strains the historical past of the perform, concentrating on the strangely shut courting among international relations and literary creation in Western Europe from antiquity in the course of the 17th century, while marriage started to lose its effectiveness and status as a device of diplomacy.

Watkins starts with Virgil's foundational fantasy of the wedding among the Trojan hero Aeneas and the Latin princess, an account that shaped the root for various medieval and Renaissance celebrations of dynastic marriages by means of courtly poets and propagandists. within the book's moment part, he follows the sluggish decline of diplomatic marriage as either a device of statecraft and a literary topic, exploring the skepticism and suspicion with which it used to be considered 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 particular dignity and respect.

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