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For this edition David Norbrook has provided an extensive introduction which gives an overview of developments in methodology and research since the first edition in 1984, responds to some criticisms, and points the way to further inquiry. Footnotes have been updated to take account of the current state of knowledge, and a chronological table has been provided for ease of reference. Norbrook brings out the range and adventurousness of early modern poets' engagements with the public world. The first part of the book establishes the more radical currents of thought shaping Renaissance poetry: civic humanism and apocalyptic Protestantism. Norbrook then shows how such leading Elizabethan poets as Sidney and Spenser, often seen as conservative monarchists, responded powerfully though sometimes ambivalently to more radical ideas. A chapter on Fulke Greville shows how that ambivalence reaches an extreme in some remarkable poetry.