The Poetics of Piety in Early Modern England
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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I set out to explore the roots of early modern literary culture in the dream of a transcendent Word, only to become caught up in a story about the inextricability of human meaning making from the gritty mysteries of incarnation. That same trajectory has marked my behind-the-scenes process...
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In the introductory epistle to his 1580 translation and Protestantization of Thomas à Kempis’s devotional treatise Imitatio Christi, Thomas Rogers makes a case for the continued relevance of this Continental, latemedieval text to his English Protestant audience: “A shame were it therefore...
Chapter 1: The Church Eloquent
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The parallel careers of Thomas Rogers (ca. 1553– 1616) and Philip Sidney (1554– 86) offer a useful starting point for exploring the major intersections between devotional and literary models of good imitatio in early modern England. Sidney’s biography is far and away the more familiar. A...
Chapter 2: The Sound of Silence
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Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, author of The Tragedy of Mariam (1613), was the first female playwright to be published in England. She is also the subject of one of the earliest extant biographies of an Englishwoman, The Lady Falkland: Her Life by One of Her Daughters.1 This coincidence has...
Chapter 3: The “Book of Virtue”
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Let us begin with a literary miracle tale. Shortly after Charles I’s January 30, 1649, beheading outside the Banqueting House of Whitehall Palace, he was resurrected—not in his mundane human form, but in a glorified textual body, a compendium of political commentary and pious meditations...
Chapter 4: The Church (P)articulate
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Charles’s bid for martyrdom may have precipitated Milton’s break with the “Sidnean” aesthetic of Protestant imitatio, but the breadth and depth of that rupture are perhaps better appreciated by way of an earlier Puritan Passion narrative. On June 30, 1637, John Bastwick, William Prynne, and...
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Index, About the Author, Back Cover
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 3 halftones
Publication Year: 2014