Bring on more 17th-century English literature!

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Bring on more 17th-century English literature!

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Juil 4, 2014, 12:45pm

I love this series, a few of my favorite volumes are the ones dedicated to Renaissance English literature:

Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy

Browne's Religio Medici

Florio's translation of Montaigne used by Shakespeare

My criticism of NYRB would be that they concentrate too much on somewhat obscure modern authors instead of neglected classic authors.

For example, I would LOVE to see NYRB volumes of Jeremy Taylor's Holy Dying

and Sir Walter Ralegh's History of the World, of which I've only read tantalizing excerpts

So far as I can tell, neither of these works has ever been issued in a modern paperback edition. (I'm not including those horrible facsimile editions listed on Amazon by Nabu, Kessenger, and the like.)

So come on, NYRB, please include a few more bona fide neglected classics in your line-up!

Juil 4, 2014, 1:14pm

Another edition I'd love to see is a volume containing Jasper Heywood's translations of three plays by Seneca -- Thyestes, The Trojan Women, The Madness of Hercules:

These translations were a huge influence upon the Elizabethan dramatists including Shakespeare. This volume would make a wonderful companion to the Florio translation of Shakespeare!

Heywood's translations were included in "Seneca: His Tenne Tragedies" published by Indiana University Press with a foreword by T. S. Eliot in the 1960s but that edition is very difficult to find (and very expensive used):

If you're interested in other works that influenced Shakespeare, like the translations of Florio and Heywood, this book is excellent, one of my favorite books to browse in recent years -- "Shakespeare's Books: A Dictionary of His Sources"

Juil 12, 2014, 2:44pm

I think my main request might've gotten lost amid all the hyperlinks above, so here it is again, short and sweet:

NYRB, please publish reader-friendly paperback editions of Jeremy Taylor's "Holy Dying" and Ralegh's "History of the World".

Both of these works easily transcend their age and speak directly to modern readers -- in other words, they're classics!