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Lawyers at PlayLiterature, Law, and Politics at the Early Modern Inns of Court, 1558-1581$
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Jessica Winston

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769422.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Lawyers at Play Redux

Chapter:
(p.213) Conclusion
Source:
Lawyers at Play
Author(s):

Jessica Winston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769422.003.0010

The conclusion examines a portrait of William Naylor (1532–71) to summarize some of the major arguments of the book. Turning to theories of play, it examines why literary play was so important to members of the Inns in this period of legal-professional change. The conclusion also addresses the significance of the book to studies of law and literature, exploring why inns-of-court literature in the 1560s seems to have more to do with virtue than law, arguing that virtue signals readiness for law. Finally, the conclusion explores the influence of the mid-Tudor political culture of the Inns. Looking at John Stubbe’s Discovery of a Gaping Gulf (1579), I suggest that although this political culture dissipated, it contributed to the expansion of political discourse on a national scale. The culture of the mid-Tudor Inns helped to condition the rhetorical world of later sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England for public, political debate.

Keywords:   Inns of Court, political culture, law and literature, William Naylor, theories of play, Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, John Stubbe, Discovery of a Gaping Gulf, virtue in literature

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