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Nicholas Breton and the English Self

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Conny Loder

Nicholas Breton (1545/55-1626?) was one of the most prolific writers of the Early Modern period and left behind a vast œuvre that is, however, largely neglected today. Breton addresses instrumental questions of his time, especially those of man’s identity. This study concentrates on a selection of Breton’s political texts in which Breton contrasts the Self against the Other. These texts not only stigmatise the Other as the undesired, the unknown and the indecipherable, but also construct a patriotic and uniform English identity to be imitated by all Englishmen and Englishwomen: the English Self.
Conny Loder took a MLitt at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) and a PhD at the University of Greifswald (Germany). Her research focuses on Elizabethan and Jacobean reception of Machiavelli’s works, particular on drama and pamphlets and on Shakespeare Studies. She is a member of the Renaissance Drama Research Group, Shakespeare Institute, Stratford upon Avon (United Kingdom). In another life, she was on a Fulbright grant, teaching German at Pacific University, Oregon (USA).