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MHRA Tudor & Stuart Translations
Pbk ISBN 978-0-947623-98-2.
Pbk £13.99 / $21.99 / EUR14.99
Hbk ISBN 978-1-78188-082-1.
Hbk £27.50 / $39.99 / EUR32.99
In the early Elizabethan period, nine of the ten tragedies attributed to the ancient Roman statesman, philosopher, and playwright Seneca (c. 1 BCE–65 CE) were translated for the first time into English, and these translations shaped Seneca’s dramatic legacy as it would be known to later authors and playwrights.
This edition enables readers to appreciate the distinct style and aims of three milestone translations: Jasper Heywood’s Troas (1559) and Thyestes (1560), and John Studley’s Agamemnon (1566). The plays are presented in modern spelling and accompanied by critical notes clarifying the translators’ approaches to rendering Seneca in English. The introduction provides important context, including a survey of the transmission and reception of Seneca from the first through to the sixteenth century and an analysis and comparison of the style of the three translations.
James Ker is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jessica Winston is Professor of English at Idaho State University.
"This important edition
will act as a stimulus for further comparative work: it will
help to reconfigure our valuation of Elizabethan Seneca not
just in terms of its legacy (important though that is) but as
an innovative literary endeavour in its own right."
Sarah Dewar-Watson, TLS, 5 April 2013, 27.
"It is appropriate and
welcome that one of the first volumes in the attractive new
MHRA series gives [the translations] the stage to themselves
for a while, and an occasion even for those who already more
or less know them to look at them afresh."
Gordon Braden, Translation and Literature 22 (2013), 274.
"Seneca is enjoying a
renaissance of sorts, prompting reevaluations of both his
plays and their afterlives. This intelligently conceived and
carefully edited volume offers a valuable opportunity to
examine the evidence firsthand ... This volume is clear,
intelligent, and informed by current scholarship; it will be
valuable for scholars with an interest in Seneca, Elizabethan
translation, classical reception, academic drama, and/or the
development of tragedy."
Tanya Pollard, Renaissance Quarterly 66
"This edition will be
tremendously useful not just to scholars working on classical
transmission or early modern drama, but also to those looking
at Elizabethan literary culture as a whole. Ker and Winston
successfully demonstrate the centrality of Seneca to the
Elizabethan literary landscape and open doors for a wide
variety of potential areas of enquiry."
Kavita Mudan Finn, Sixteenth Century
Journal 45 (2014), 474-5.
entry-point for students to the contexts both of the Senecan
originals and of the Tudor translations."
Andrew J. Power, MLR 110 (2015), 238-9.