Women, print and locality
Richard Culmer and the practices of polemic during the English Revolution
in Insolent proceedings
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Richard Culmer – the famous Canterbury iconoclast – shares certain characteristics with the well-known Presbyterian preacher from the civil wars, Thomas Edwards. Both were controversial ministers, and both became involved in the world of print culture and pamphleteering. With both men, however, there has always been a danger that the printed pamphlets are studied in order to reconstruct their lives and ideas, or the beliefs and activities of those that they studied, in ways which left unanswered questions about the role that print played within their careers, and the ways in which they thought about its uses. Of course, pioneering work by Ann Hughes has helped to revolutionise our understanding of the print revolution, and the innovative ways in which Edwards appropriated print as part of mobilisation strategies. This piece revisits the texts produced by and about both Richard Culmer and his son, in order to deepen our understanding of the nature, practices and role of polemic during the civil wars and interregnum, not least in relation to the ways in which pamphlets deployed evidence in order to mould reputations, and did so in ways that might be thought to have resonated – perhaps in different ways – both nationally and in the locality.

Insolent proceedings

Rethinking public politics in the English Revolution

Editors: Peter Lake and Jason Peacey


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