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Eikon Basilike With Selections From Eikonoklastes (Broadview Editions) Paperback – 30 Nov 2005

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Product Description


“This is a very intelligent and authoritative edition of Eikon Basilike, a text crucial for the study of seventeenth-century English literature and politics. The extraordinary textual duel between England’s fallen king, Charles I, and her epic poet, John Milton, has come to be seen as one of the great set-pieces of early modern polemical literature, and this edition now allows us to teach this compelling intertextual struggle in one volume. Not only do the editors offer a full and thoughtfully annotated text of the king’s book, but they also provide the most relevant sections of Milton’s brilliant response, Eikonoklastes—not to mention a rich selection of other contemporary contributions to the debate.” - Paul Stevens, University of Toronto

"Eikon Basilike is one of the most popular and important texts of the seventeenth century, but has long been out of print. In printing with Eikon Basilike selections from John Milton's response, Eikonoklastes, the editors reunite texts often studied by different disciplines. Notices of, and brief selections from, other attacks on and defences of 'The King's Book' also return these works to the polemical print exchanges to which they belong and which they in turn shaped. As well as a useful working text for scholars in two disciplines, this edition will enable and stimulate discussions of the rhetorical contest for authority that was inseparable from political struggles in the England of the 1640s and 1650s." - Kevin Sharpe, Queen Mary, University of London

From the Publisher

The Broadview Editions series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, lesser-known literature. Newly type-set and produced on high-quality paper in trade paperback format, the Broadview Editions series is a delight to handle as well as to read.

Each volume includes a full introduction, chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes along with a variety of documents from the period, giving readers a rich sense of the world from which the work emerged.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I would not recommend it to the general reader interested in history 1 Sept. 2014
By Ben - Published on
Format: Paperback
Allow me to address the obvious and most important points first. If you're at all interested in the history of the early modern period, and the English Civil War in particular, Eikon Basilike is an essential text for you to peruse. However, I would not recommend it to the general reader interested in history. After all, this is not exactly a "fun" text (though I imagine if you're seriously considering purchasing this, your idea of fun is already somewhat different from that of the general populace). The book's content can be pretty easily summarized, and you have available several avenues if you're just interested in the "gist" of the book. But if you're interested in exactly _how_ this book, which was hugely influential and successful in its day, affected its audiences, consider purchasing this edition. To my knowledge, it is the only reasonably priced modern edition that adheres to anything resembling scholarly practices.

Having said this, the book is not without its problems, but these will be of interest only to those who specialize in the subject (so, now that I think about it, probably the great majority of those interested in purchasing this book). I'd note that at times the introduction seems overly cursory in its contextualization. In a work that needs so much background presented in order to approach it, the editors offer scraps of information too meager to feed the seriously interested student. Details on the authorship controversy and the rhetorical genres of Eikon Basilike are present, but are hardly exhaustive. Daems and Nelson also afford about a third of their introduction to writing on Eikonoklastes, Milton's response to Eikon Basilike. I don't necessarily fault them for this, as I imagine that a great number of those interested in Eikon Basilike are so because they are working with Milton's response . Nevertheless, I want more on Charles and the craft of his text. Finally, a note on the text on Eikonklastes: strangely, Daems and Nelson choose the 1st edition, 1st state as their copy-text. This is kind of a pain for Milton scholars, who will be drawing from the Yale Prose edition or the Oxford Complete Works for comparisons with Daems texts. Each of those standard works cites Milton's second edition of 1650. Perhaps this is only an inconvenience for me, but I can't understand why Daems and Nelson make this textual choice.
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