By Scott Oldenburg
Using either canonical and underappreciated texts, Alien Albion argues that early smooth England was once a ways much less unified and xenophobic than literary critics have formerly urged. Juxtaposing literary texts from the interval with criminal, spiritual, and fiscal records, Scott Oldenburg uncovers how immigrants to England solid ties with their English hosts and the way these relationships have been mirrored in literature that imagined inclusive, multicultural communities.
Through discussions of civic pageantry, the performs of dramatists together with William Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, and Thomas Middleton, the poetry of Anne Dowriche, and the prose of Thomas Deloney, Alien Albion demanding situations assumptions in regards to the origins of English nationwide id and the significance of non secular, classification, and native identities within the early glossy era.
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Additional info for Alien Albion: Literature and Immigration in Early Modern England
26 28 Sectarian Inclusivity The same pageant featured an oration by John Heywood, but his speech was so overshadowed by Peter’s antics that no one recorded even the gist of it. 27 Not much is known about Peter except that he was very agile. 28 These details indicate that he was an artisan, perhaps in either the building trades or, given the banners and streamers he used, the textile industry. In any case, he did not disdain physical labour. 29 Nearly every sixteenth-century royal entry to London included one or two pageants put on by stranger communities (originally to help fund the lavish spectacle), but the fact that a stranger waved the banner bearing the city’s arms and that the first three pageants were performed by strangers indicates that the city’s mayor and aldermen wanted to showcase London’s immigrants; they wanted to communicate to Mary that London was made up of not only the English nobles, merchants, and artisans who lined the streets, but also merchant strangers and alien artisans.
Hoenselaars think that Hance should be seen negatively and that Good Remedy’s attitude towards Hance reflects an enthusiastic endorsement for Mary’s policy of expelling strangers from the realm. But the vices Ill Will and Shrewd Wit relish Hance’s deportation. Shrewd Wit endorses Hance’s expulsion with a pun – “That horson Fleming was beshitten for feare / Because he should voyde so soone” (826–7) – but is the audience to laugh along with Ill Will and Shrewd Wit? Vice and Virtue awkwardly unite around Hance’s expulsion, leaving the audience to sort out the complexity of immigration into England.
The English do not seem to have been xenophobic enough to take advantage of the compromised position of their stranger-neighbours. Protestant solidarity trumped allegiance to the monarch or an abstract sense of Englishness. The examples of Londoners actively defending strangers are even more telling. 51 A few months after Mary’s 1554 proclamation was issued, two Dutch shoemakers were arrested for loitering after dark. When it was discovered that they were non-denizens they were detained, but after nine days they were released.
Alien Albion: Literature and Immigration in Early Modern England by Scott Oldenburg