Chapter

Introduction

Jason Lawrence

in Who the Devil Taught Thee So Much Italian?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719069147
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719069147.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about Italian language learning in England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It demonstrates how the impetus for the fruitful engagement with Italian materials in English poetry and drama at the turn of the seventeenth century can be traced to the very processes by which the same authors encountered the language and its literature in the first place. It investigates how students developed a sound reading knowledge of the target language, as it was not strictly necessary to speak a language accurately in order to understand it sufficiently well to engage with its literature. This volume also traces how John Florio's influence, both personal and by means of his Italian instruction manuals, was disseminated among a number of contemporary poets and playwrights.

Keywords: Italian language learning; England; English poetry; English drama; literature; reading knowledge; John Florio

Chapter.  7766 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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