Amy G. Tan
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A bit of parish trouble and a manual on giving
Selfrepresentation to insiders and outsiders
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The first portion of Chapter 6 outlines a complex web of interpersonal-cum-religious-cum-financial disputes that rose to a head in 1634 during an episcopal visitation of Bernard’s parish. Then, the chapter addresses Bernard’s manual on giving, Ready Way to Good Works, published just a few months later. Though Ready Way made no explicit mention of the local controversy, this context clearly influenced the work. The chapter identifies several passages that gesture subtly – but meaningfully for those in the know – to Bernard’s local situation; it also highlights several additional passages that explained parts of Bernard’s personal and financial history. Both of these, in different ways, can be read as a sort of life writing which not only intended to provide readers with a positive view of Bernard himself, but also functioned symbiotically with the publication’s overarching aim of encouraging charity. As we will see, this has important relevance for the ways we conceive of authors’ self-presentation before different sorts of audiences.

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The pastor in print

Genre, audience, and religious change in early modern England