During Shakespeare's lifetime, John Lyly was repeatedly described
as the central figure in contemporary English literature. This book
takes that claim seriously, asking how and why Lyly was considered
the most important writer of his time. Kesson traces Lyly's work in
prose fiction and the theatre, demonstrating previously
unrecognised connections between these two forms of entertainment.
The final chapter examines how his importance to early modern
authorship came to be forgotten in the late seventeenth century and
thereafter. This book serves as an introduction to Lyly and early
modern literature for students, but its argument for the central
importance of Lyly himself and 1580s literary culture makes it a
significant contribution to current scholarly debate. Its
investigation of the relationship between performance and print
means that it will be of interest to those who care about, watch or
work in early modern performance. -- .
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