Wax Impressions, Figures, and Forms in Early Modern Literature

Wax Works

  • Lynn M. Maxwell

Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies 1500–1700 book series (EMCSS)

Table of contents

About this book


This book explores the role of wax as an important conceptual material used to work out the nature and limits of the early modern human. By surveying the use of wax in early modern cultural spaces such as the stage and the artist’s studio and in literary and philosophical texts, including those by William Shakespeare, John Donne, René Descartes, Margaret Cavendish, and Edmund Spenser, this book shows that wax is a flexible material employed to define, explore, and problematize a wide variety of early modern relations including the relationship of man and God, man and woman, mind and the world, and man and machine. 


posthumanism object studies material studies early modern literature Shakespeare wax figures early modern philosophy early modern art early modern scientific texts literature and science wax seals for letters

Authors and affiliations

  • Lynn M. Maxwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Spelman CollegeAtlantaUSA

Bibliographic information