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Peter Mack examines the impact of humanist training in rhetoric and argument on a range of Elizabethan prose texts, including political orations, histories, romances, conduct manuals, privy council debates and personal letters. Elizabethan Rhetoric reconstructs the knowledge, skills and approaches which an Elizabethan would have acquired in order to participate in the political and religious debates of the time: the approaches to an audience, analysis and replication of textual structures, organisation of arguments and tactics for disputation. Study of the rhetorical codes and conventions in terms of which debates were conducted is currently a major area of historical and literary enquiry, and Mack provides a wealth of new information about what was taught and how these conventions were exploited in personal memoranda, court depositions, sermons and political and religious pamphlets. This important book will be invaluable for all those interested in the culture, literature and political history of the period.
Cambridge University Press
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