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Jack of Newbury

Jack of Newbury
Author: Thomas Deloney
Price: $10.95
ISBN-10: 1460404874
ISBN-13: 9781460404874
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Format: PDF/Digital Editions

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Jack of Newbury is an incisive yet remarkably entertaining work of narrative prose—and one that was extremely popular when it was published in the 1590s. The title character, an apprentice weaver, marries his former master’s wife, expands her cloth business into an enormous enterprise, refuses Henry VIII’s offer of a knighthood, and confronts Cardinal Wolsey; meanwhile, his servants find themselves in a range of comic situations. While amusing, Jack of Newbury also carries a serious and subversive political message: as Peter C. Herman puts it in his introduction to the volume, “the truly valuable subjects” in Deloney’s narrative “are not the nobility, but the merchant class.” The range of contextual materials included with this edition help to set it in the broader context of its economic and political as well as literary culture.