"Making a contribution of the highest interest and importance to the growing field of early modern race studies, this book expands the scope of current inquiry by approaching from a new angle....Floyd-Wilson's complicated, multi-faceted argument challenges us to keep all of its strands in view. Her emphasis on transition makes her interpretive stance dynamic and far-reaching." Renaissance Quarterly
"Mary Floyd-Wilson's study of English ethnicity offers an important contribution to the study of race in the early modern period. Its account of geohumoral ethnology is innovative and fascinating." Seventeenth-Century News
Outlines 'scientific' conceptions of racial and ethnic differences in sixteenth and seventeenth-century English writing. Drawing on classical and contemporary medical texts, histories, and cosmographies, Floyd-Wilson demonstrates that Renaissance understandings of racial and ethnic identities contradicted many modern stereotypes concerning difference. English writers labored to reinvent ethnology to their own advantage which paved the way for the invention of more familiar racial ideas. Floyd-Wilson highlights these English revisionary efforts in her surprising and transformational readings of the period's drama, including Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Jonson's The Masque of Blackness, and Shakespeare's Othello and Cymbeline.