When Planetomachia was published in 1585, Greene himself-always the best advertiser of his own books-promised his readers a perfectly balanced diet of edification and entertainment. He described his newest offering as an astronomical discourse on the nature and influence of the planets interlaced with ‚pleasant and tragical histories,‘ which one could ostensibly use as a manual to identify various planetary influences on ’natural constitution.‘ In this first complete critical edition, Nandini Das presents Planetomachia as a complex hybrid which is eminently a product of its times, exploring how the two very different intellectual and cultural spheres of Humanist scholarship and Renaissance popular print engage in an intriguing, albeit uneasy, dialogue to produce this unique work of prose fiction. The volume gives a clear sense, afforded by no other existing edition, of the intellectual climate which shaped this text. It offers substantial introductory material (on biographical, literary and scientific contexts) and extensive annotation identifying Greene’s allusions and elucidating his vocabulary. It also includes translations and extracts from significant sources, along with a bibliography of relevant primary texts and critical work on Greene generally and on Planetomachia in particular.
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