Chapter

Introduction

Timothy Chesters

in Ghost Stories in Late Renaissance France

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599806
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599806.003.0001

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs

Introduction

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The first section examines the complex terminology of ghosts in sixteenth-century France, reviewing a range of French terms variously poetic (‘ombre’, ‘idole’), classical (‘larves’, ‘lares’, ‘manes’), everyday (‘esprit qui revient’, ‘fantôme’) or specialist (‘spectre’). This need among early modern authors to define and control the topic lexically, though not always successful, derived in part from the increasing intellectual prestige of the vernacular. The next section discusses the methodology adopted, promising a role for the history of the book—the material history of demonology—far larger than is customary in existing studies of witchcraft and magic. Following this is a justification of the chosen corpus—one which deliberately excludes verse and dramatic representations of ghosts. Finally, the Introduction offers a summary of the subsequent chapters.

Keywords: terminology; vernacular; genre; history of the book; poetry; theatre; Ronsard; imitation

Chapter.  7820 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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