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The ‘Shepheards Nation’Jacobean Spenserians and Early Stuart Political Culture 1612-25$
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Michelle O'Callaghan

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186380.001.0001

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‘Thus Deare Britannia Will I Sing of thee’: William Browne, Britannia's Pastorals

‘Thus Deare Britannia Will I Sing of thee’: William Browne, Britannia's Pastorals

(p.86) 3 ‘Thus Deare Britannia Will I Sing of thee’: William Browne, Britannia's Pastorals
The ‘Shepheards Nation’

Michelle O'Callaghan

Oxford University Press

Because attempting to provide a representation of England in the early Stuart period would entail a close examination of debates regarding the identity of a particular nation, Britannia's Pastorals was described by Greg as the most ambitious and longest pastoral poem ever made. Britain, at that time, experienced how several various communities competed for the authority to represent the land and the land's history. The debates that involved issues of attaining sovereignty indicated amplified self-consciousness regarding national concerns. Despite the attempts that involved James and the revival of a Virgilian Augustanism, Book I attempts to bring James together with the Protestant vision of the empire while Book II portrays Browne's attempt at searching for alternative sources of authority, the poetic self, and national communities.

Keywords:   England, Britannia's Pastorals, James, Virgilian Augustanism, Protestant vision, empire, authority, poetic self, national communities, self-consciousness

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