Early in the introduction to Humanism, Capitalism, and Rhetoric in Early Modern England, Lynette Hunter celebrates the multidisciplinary approach to her research: “The conversations in this book are transdisciplinary and engage directly with the confluence of printing history, women’s history, the history of science and medicine, literary analysis, performance studies, and especially, the history of rhetoric” (3). Add the keywords from her title and subtitle not mentioned in this list—humanism, capitalism, citizen, and self—and one can see in Hunter’s plan not only ambitious scope but also the challenge she faces to explore many of these areas with satisfactory depth. Within English humanist rhetoric manuals, she finds a thread of advice and anxiety about ethos (its reliability and its amenability to construction) that reflects an evolution in subjectivity and, thus, delivers on the promise of her subtitle. The same cannot be said of all the...

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