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John HeywoodComedy and Survival in Tudor England$
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Greg Walker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198851516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198851516.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2021

Rehabilitation and Reformation

Rehabilitation and Reformation

The Epigrams and Proverbs

(p.241) 12 Rehabilitation and Reformation
John Heywood

Greg Walker

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at Heywood’s remarkable rehabilitation after his abjuration in 1543, and examines in detail his turn to a new literary form with A Dialogue of Proverbs. It offers a new reading of this little-discussed text, setting it in the context of the humanist taste for Adagia, and showing how Heywood parodies the form in a dialogue that cites ‘all the proverbs in the English tongue’ to no final effect. It then looks closely at the subsequent editions of ‘Hundreds’ of Epigrams upon proverbs that the playwright published in subsequent decades, drawing out how they both crafted a new persona for him as purveyor of comic wisdom for ‘the middling sort’ in London, and provided a vehicle for his gradual return to commentary upon social, economic, and religious issues.

Keywords:   John Heywood, A Dialogue of Proverbs, Epigrams Upon Proverbs, Adagia, London, middling sort, devaluation of the coinage, treason, opposition, nicodemitism

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