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Elizabethan FictionsEspionage, Counter-espionage, and the Duplicity of Fiction in Early Elizabethan Prose Narratives$
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R. W. Maslen

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119913.001.0001

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The Resolution of Euphues

The Resolution of Euphues

Chapter:
(p.254) 6 The Resolution of Euphues
Source:
Elizabethan Fictions
Author(s):

R. W. Maslen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119913.003.0007

Euphues: The Anatomy of Withas a volatile character, signaled by the picture Euphues draws in his final letters of a desperate Emperor trying to hold together a disintegrating court. If the Anatomy of Wit is Lyly's satire on the private lives of the ruling classes, implying that all the abuses which Ascham ascribed to Italian fiction are no more than accurate representations of the depravities that infest the upper echelons of European society, Euphues and his England (1580) contains his sometimes ironic version of the ideal public weal, an English Utopia, protected from foreign infiltration by a wealth of ‘safe’ native fictions, and described in a text which is capable of absorbing the sophistication of Italian forms of narrative without being destabilized by their ideological contents. If the Anatomy is destructive, then Euphues and his England is ebulliently constructive.

Keywords:   Euphues, Anatomy of Wit, John Lyly, Eupheus and his England

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