Pirates and politics in John Barclay's Argenis (1621)
[in special issue: Travel and Prose Fiction in Early Modern England]
The Yearbook of English Studies, 41, (1), .
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The representation of piracy became more complex in Elizabethan and Jacobean romance, as a result of increasing generic sophistication and changing political circumstances. Generic developments in romance coincided with a period of intense English piracy, and as a result political changes concerning attitudes to the ideology and material practice of piracy shape the treatment of seaborne crime in Elizabethan and Jacobean writing. Through a discussion of piracy in John Barclay's Argenis (1621), examined in relation to its depiction in Philip Sidney's New Arcadia (1590) and Mary Wroth's Urania (Part 1, 1621; Part 2, written ?1621–26), this article explores how depictions of piracy do not alter simply in line with government policy regarding seaborne crime, but are also used to debate the merits of policy and leadership.
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