Thomas Hoby, William Thomas, and Mid-Tudor Travel to Italy

Jonathan Woolfson

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Thomas Hoby, William Thomas, and Mid-Tudor Travel to Italy

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)



Thomas Hoby and William Thomas are unique among previous generations of British travellers to Italy. They surprise us in two broad and related areas. First, their understanding of the relationship between Italy's past and present, and of the consequences of that relationship for English language and culture, is unprecedented. It anticipates uncannily some major themes of the literary culture of the age of Elizabeth I, such as its concern with the interaction between language on the one hand, and religion, national identity, civility, and courtliness on the other. Secondly, thanks to extant evidence about their journeys, Thomas and especially Hoby serve to illustrate a kind of intersection between reading, travel, and literary production which seems new for British travellers in the sixteenth century.

Keywords: British travellers; Italy; English language; culture; Elizabeth I; reading; literary production

Article.  7247 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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