Saying it with Flowers: Erasmus, Bruegel, Shakespeare

Event Date: 
22 Mar 2018


5.30pm, EDEN 112, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park Campus

Public Talk:

Professor Neil Rhodes, University of St Andrews


Proverbs or sayings are an essential element in sixteenth-century culture. Seen both as part of learned discourse, as maxims handed down from classical antiquity, and also as part of popular culture in their role as expressions of folk wisdom, sayings are the quintessential meeting point between high and low in the sixteenth century. In this paper, Professor Rhodes will look at three different manifestations of sayings in the period: in Erasmus’s Adagia, started at the very beginning of the century and revised throughout his career; in Bruegel’s picture Flemish Proverbs, from the mid-century; and in Shakespeare’s plays at the end of the period.


NEIL RHODES is Professor of English Literature and Cultural History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author, most recently, of Common: The Development of Literary Culture in Sixteenth-Century England (OUP, 2018). His other publications include English Renaissance Translation Theory (MHRA, 2013), with Gordon Kendal and Louise Wilson; Shakespeare and the Origins of English (OUP, 2004); and, with Jonathan Sawday, The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print (Routledge, 2000). His first book, Elizabethan Grotesque (Routledge, 1980), was reissued in 2015. He is co-General Editor with Andrew Hadfield of the MHRA Tudor and Stuart Translations series and is a visiting professor at the University of Granada and Liverpool Hope University.


All welcome.

For further information, please contact Dr Louise Wilson at: