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Reviews 215 172, col. 351). Sex, G o d and text eUde, inviting literary as m u c h as historical investigation. But it is too soon to say h o w Honorius' imagination figures itself across the range of modes he attempts: polemical, liturgical, cosmological, didactic and exegetical (to use Flint's classification). The pubUcation of this volume binding Abelard and Honorius together may presage some future time in our Schools when Abelard and Honorius may both, untike as they are, be equally read. Mary Dove School of English and American Studies University of Sussex Hyde, Patricia, Thomas Arden in Faversham The Man behind the Myth, Faversham, Kent: The Faversham Society, 1996; cloth; pp. xu, 615; 53 Illustrations and maps, inc. 6 colour; R.R.P. £45.00. [AvaUable by post from Arden Enterprises, Aston Lodge, Church Street, Lyminge, Kent CT18 8JA]. This is a book of urban history rather than an attempt to solve the murder of Thomas Arden. Inspired by Montaillou and its 'factual history of ordinary people', Patricia Hyde has gathered material to see how clear a picture could be made of the varying roles of the inhabitants in the smaU town of Faversham. It would be hard to equal the recreation of a whole community made by Ladurie from the inquisitors' records of Montaillou. The retelling of Arden's life and death makes up only a sixth of the book; the remaining 500 pages are appendices of transcribed wills, court hearings, inventories of Faversham, and shipping records. Hyde's industrious searches have not produced material for another Montaillou: the town is larger, the connections less closely knit, the records mostly drier. OccasionaUy, the sense of town life becomes vivid, as in the remarkable case of Arden's mother, a compulsive middle-class beggar, kindly treated by the authorities of Norwich. Also engaging is the persecuted reformist clergyman, identified as a possible author of the notes on the murder preserved in the Stow M S and used by Holinshed. The book certainly gathers a 'wealth of biographies' and is for historians of sixteenth- 216 Reviews century towns a treasure-trove of information. As for the murder, Hyde is unimpressed by recent theories proposing new conspirators: the murderers are Alice and her accompUces. Taking a transhistorical view, Hyde appeals to readers' awareness of the continuity of human behaviour, likening Alice's motive to that of 'thousands and thousands of women today', but stressing (as Belsey did) her lack of access to divorce. W h y this particular murder became notorious is not a problem: i t is an instance of a perennial concern with multiple murders and especiaUy with murderous women. Hyde supports acceptance of the report that AUce's punishments began by her being subjected to rape. The Privy Council saw the murder as a threat to law and order, and thus the official, strategicaUy located punishments of Alice and her accompUces are a response to fear of reUgious radicals and general pubUc disorder in Kent. A n atmosphere of contemporary anxiety i s convincingly evoked here. Orlin links the 'scapegoating' of AUce to a post-reformation deployment of ideals of private l i f e to support order and social control. Hyde's view of the link, though similar, is less coloured by theories of political ideology. The book is also an attempt to scrape off a layer of myth which has accumulated on the events which i t dramatises. In this re-examination of the evidence a number of interesting findings emerges. Hyde has established the identity of Alice's father and that Arden was not, as Holinshed has it, 'a gentleman', and though a landowner, not as prominent as is often reported. After reassessing the evidence she finds the argument that he was a reformer not proven. More generaUy, i t emerges that, though Arden's murder made a successful play, playwrights missed a chance to make a domestic tragedy of a different kind: one on the rise and faU of a local poUtician. Having enjoyed the patronage of Edward North and married his stepdaughter , then become a landowner and a jurat who negotiated a new charterforthe town, and finaUy Mayor, Arden feU...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 215-217
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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