Translation, travel and treason: William Barker in Early Modern Italy
Society for Renaissance Studies Lecture by Jane Grogan (UCD). This paper introduces a long-forgotten Tudor figure, William Barker, and argues for his significance to our understanding of post-Reformation English Renaissance culture. Sometime Cambridge scholar, traveller to Italy, and accomplished translator from ancient Greek, Barker became a key figure in the ill-fated Ridolfi plot (which sought to put Mary Queen of Scots on Elizabeth’s English throne). But quite apart from the interest of his own story, his life and works cast light on unnoticed intellectual networks operating in Renaissance England, and point to the need to rethink our understanding of its social and political world, as well as its literary history.