“A commyn wele of true nobylyte”: Thomas Starkey and Italian Renaissance republican thought in sixteenth-century England
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 02:07 by Cameron Wood
This thesis examines how Thomas Starkey’s Dialogue between Pole and Lupset serves as the first attempt by an Englishman to transmit Italian republican political structure and civic humanist education to England during the Henrician Reformation. After analysing Starkey’s Latin grammar and liberal arts education in Oxford, followed by his civic humanist education at the University of Padua, I argue that Starkey wrote his dialogue with the ambition of presenting reforms to Henry VIII that would transmit Venetian mixed government and civic educational reforms to England. Through a close reading of Starkey’s dialogue, this thesis will demonstrate how republican and civic humanist thought was transmitted from Venice to England a century before the English Civil War. I argue that by examining Thomas Starkey’s civic humanist education and his writing of the Dialogue between Pole and Lupset, the transmission of Italian republicanism and new political and educational thought was ushered into Tudor England.