© 2010

The Culture of Usury in Renaissance England

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. David Hawkes
    Pages 1-12
  3. David Hawkes
    Pages 47-66
  4. David Hawkes
    Pages 67-93
  5. David Hawkes
    Pages 167-168
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 169-200

About this book


This book examines the ways in which usury was perceived and portrayed as it rose to popularity in Renaissance England, taking into account the works of key literary figures of this period, including Milton and Shakespeare.


England John Milton Renaissance William Shakespeare

About the authors

DAVID HAWKES Professor of English at Arizona State University, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Hawkes' brilliant anatomy of early modern usury illuminates a keyword of the period. Revealing usury's connections to magic and witchcraft, sodomy, idolatry, unnatural birth, epicurean self-indulgence, consumer desire, and the death of hospitality, Hawkes argues that early modern people saw usury as unambiguously evil. The Culture of Usury in Renaissance England evokes a world in which making money breed was assumed to destroy the soul and the possibility for just and charitable action. Learned, impassioned, and forcefully written, Hawkes' book uses the past to query many of the assumptions that govern contemporary life. A tour de force." - Jean Howard, George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University and Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature