Edwardian politics and poetics
in Literature and politics in the English Reformation
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This chapter examines the events of the summer of 1549 in the context of the Edwardian regime's emphasis on counsel and debate. It discusses the numerous polemical works produced by the Edwardian regime to support its religious policy. The chapter develops the idea that the reign of Edward VI represented a profound break with that of Henry VIII by examining the work of its leading poet, Robert Crowley, and William Baldwin's animal fable, Beware the Cat. The 'inkennelling' of the ploughmen had real political costs for the Edwardian regime which are reflected in the work of the period's leading poet, Crowley, and in Baldwin's mediation upon the events of 1549, Beware the Cat. The textual complexity of Beware the Cat, its cynical politics and poetics, reflect the shock to the magisterial Protestant endeavour caused by the events of 1549.

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